Oliver Stone Talks History and the Movies (1997)
The video "Conversations with History: Oliver Stone" is a fascinating look at one of the most controversial filmmakers in cinema today: Oliver Stone. Stone has made some of the most gripping historical dramas in the last 50 years, and this video finds him explaining his process, and how, ultimately his films should be viewed by history. Mr. Stone explains that the watershed moment that changed our country was the Vietnam War. A main reason why Mr. Stone tells the stories he does, is to retrieve some of what was lost in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Another interesting idea the video delves into is the idea of personal versus historical narrative. The events that Stone has dealt with in his movies, are both deeply personal and steeped in history. He explains how he has a right to be a dramatist, and time will be the eventual judge of his work. A great quote he makes regarding criticism of his work as historical documents is "every history is an omission of facts." Subjectivity can never be fully absolved from historical narrative, and Stone's work is no different. This interview is a powerful half-hour where the viewer can listen to an artist eloquently explaining his art, and the misconceptions that comes with it.