It’s remarkable how quiet 950 people can be. Ian Brown’s introduction of Oliver Stone on Saturday night —“easily the most controversial filmmaker of our time,” “a recklessly outspoken left-wing provocateur” — was greeted with loud applause and wolf-whistles; but once his interview with Stone began, the sold-out Eric Harvie Theatre hushed.
It was so quiet, I found myself worrying that the scratching of my pen, as I took notes in the dark, was disturbing my seat mates. Herewith, my favourite Oliver Stone moments:
On his early life:“I was born Republican, raised conservatively in New York City. My father was an Eisenhower Republican. He was a soldier in World War Two. He despised Franklin Roosevelt, despised labour unions. That was the orthodoxy of my time.”
“I ended up in Vietnam, among other reasons, for patriotic reasons because I wanted to fight, like Tom Cruise said [in Born of the Fourth of July] ‘I want to do the right thing. I want to fight for my county.’”
On how Vietnam changed him:
“I went through the looking glass, so to speak, in Vietnam. And I think, ‘black is white and white is black.’ I was in shock. I was trashed out, burned. I’d seen so much — disgusting things. And beautiful things, by the way. However, the break point … [came in 1985]. We were in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Salvador and those places woke me up, because all of a sudden I said ‘come on’, you’re almost forty years old and you are seeing the same thing you saw in Vietnam. You are seeing the same soldiers walking around. These pink baby faces in tropical countries … and I said ‘you know, this is a repeat of Vietnam.’” Continue Reading →