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Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

and corporate corruption. Away from the screen, Clooney’s political work has combined a critique of US foreign policy and an extensive humanitarian profile. Yet it is Clooney’s fame that is foregrounded more often, not least in the celebrity pages and gossip columns, where his Hollywood star still shines brightly. By contrast, what is striking about Stone is that his involvements seem to have no lighter alter-​ego side: no musical documentaries, no celebrity partygoing, no whimsy. Stone’s increasing online presence shifted the narrative of his work away from an

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

from Vietnam had been overwritten with a sense of self-​confidence that laid the foundations for a new, more assertive US foreign policy stance, upon which groups such as the Project for the New American Century would expound later. War, it seemed, was no longer about existential threat, but had become something of a video game. America was now ready, even eager, to forget Vietnam completely and, along with it, any cautionary lessons about empire. The goal, as Colin Harrison argues assessing that decade of the 1990s, was ‘the restoration of national pride, erasing

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

about broader institutional accountability had still not been answered. The scepticism that had underpinned Salvador’s critique of US foreign policy was grandstanded both in Stone’s use of President Eisenhower’s farewell address and referencing of the military industrial complex, and in the pivotal scene involving District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) and X (Donald Sutherland) in JFK. Banks and the armaments industry were the beneficiaries, it is suggested, of Kennedy’s removal, and Stone pushed the suggestion further in Nixon by characterising malign forces

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

is someone without formal political affiliations who is not afraid to offer policy assessments of Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and Latin America, as well as broader assessments of deficiencies in US foreign policy and the fallacies of empire. If there is something of the contrarian in this persona that confounds supporters as much as it riles opponents, then these qualities seem to add to the appeal of his auteur brand, rather than weaken it. The emergence of a filmmaker-​political pundit is part of the story of Stone explored in this book. It is a development that is

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

Williamson has described, urbanisation and the emergence of a new literary awareness in the 1980s would progressively undermine the hallmark patriarchal power structures of the indigenous and colonial societies.54 Stone’s documentary reflected the momentous political changes that the continent had experienced since the 1970s. While South of the Border’s appraisal initially focused on Chávez, it adopted something of a road movie structure which then solicited opinions on both Chávez and US foreign policy more generally, as well as the influence of the International Monetary

in The cinema of Oliver Stone