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Art, authorship and activism

This book charts and analyses the work of Oliver Stone – arguably one of the foremost political filmmakers in Hollywood during the last thirty years. Drawing on previously unseen production files from Oliver Stone’s personal archives and hours of interviews both with Stone and a range of present and former associates within the industry, the book employs a thematic structure to explore Stone’s life and work in terms of war, politics, money, love and corporations. This allows the authors both to provide a synthesis of earlier and later film work as well as locate that work within Stone’s developing critique of government. The book explores the development of aesthetic changes in Stone’s filmmaking and locates those changes within ongoing academic debates about the relationship between film and history as well as wider debates about Hollywood and the film industry. All of this is explored with detailed reference to the films themselves and related to a set of wider concerns that Stone has sought to grapple with -the American Century, exceptionalism and the American Dream, global empire, government surveillance and corporate accountability. The book concludes with a perspective on Stone’s ‘brand’ as not just an auteur and commercially viable independent filmmaker but as an activist arguing for a very distinct kind of American exceptionalism that seeks a positive role for the US globally whilst eschewing military adventurism.

wonderful way of earning, not perhaps a living, but at least a crust. Soon afterwards I was asked, out of the blue, to be film critic of the Spectator , and entered what now seems a very foreign country indeed, the film world of the 1950s, in which I stayed for ten years. It was a past separated from us today not just by the changes in films and film-making, but by the social upheavals between then and now

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)

contemporary technological changes as manifested in cinema. While its new technical and stylistic possibilities suggested an early potential to contribute to political or aesthetic innovation, cinema actually carried the burden of memory in modernity. In fact, it shouldn’t surprise that one of the key transformations cinema wrought involved the restructuring and revising of retrospection

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)

accompanying books which acted as companions 5 Th e ci nem a of Ol iver   S to ne 6 to JFK and Nixon. Clocking in at more than 500 pages each, the books were less often remembered for having pro-​and anti-​voices, historicism and observations concerning the presentation of Kennedy’s assassination and Nixon’s fall from grace and then from office, than they were for being extended bids at convincing his audience that Stone was right about the historical theses that he presented in these pictures. Did the change in decades, and hence alteration in the political atmosphere

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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Pat Jackson’s White Corridors

: that of sustaining, in the changing post-war world, something of the impetus of the realist British cinema of wartime. The critical consensus of the 1940s may have given excessive weight to this realist trend, at the expense of the less austere cinema of, for instance, Powell and Pressburger and Gains-borough melodrama, but there was, indubitably, a significant coming together of feature and

in British cinema of the 1950s
The Spanish Gardener and its analogues

falconry and the primal experience of gardening feel like lessons in growth in that they contribute to a changing character, but in Billy Elliot ballet functions simply as entertainment for a toe-tapping audience. It feels replaceable, it is an obviously ‘feminine’ alternative to that masculine sport of boxing (Billy’s mother and grandmother are both associated with dancing and Billy uses his father

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Serious Charge and film censorship

‘emasculated’ version ‘which I am sure will please you’. Plainly, despite Woolf’s protestations throughout that he would be only too happy to see the film in the ‘X’ category, given its adult themes and nature, at the last he was making a desperate attempt with the changes to see whether it might not yet be allowed for an ‘A’-certificate rating. ‘The curse has been removed

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)

change in her appearance, threatening to overshadow the ostensible point of the film, the plea for the abolition of hanging. The style adopted by J. Lee Thompson to tell this story is also significant. Although he sought the greatest verisimilitude in the depiction of the condemned cell and what goes on in it, the film eschews the documentary-style realism that might be seen as the natural

in British cinema of the 1950s

movement that has made contemporary cinema the emblematic expression, not of the real, but rather of the hyperreal. The rise of digital morphing techniques, for example, along with other forms of electronic manipulation of images in film, and the certain development in the very near future of an interactive digital cinema in which endings can be changed, and troublesome scenes transformed instantaneously

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)

talked about, and combative, filmmaker of his generation. Interview with Oliver Stone, 19 January 2010 In relation to the Classification and Ratings Administration Interviewer: How do you see the issue of cinematic censorship? Oliver Stone: The ratings thing is very much a limited game. If you talk to Joan Graves, you’ll get the facts. The rules are the rules. They change with societal norms. You can now have a kiss between homosexuals. In Alexander you can even have someone go to bed with the man. The only guideline that now exists as far as I know would be the word

in The cinema of Oliver Stone