OLIVER STONE


Group members: Thomas P. and Claudia M.

Biography


Oliver Stone was born on September 15th, 1946 in New York, NY. He attended both Yale University and New York University Film School. Oliver started writing at the age of 5 and his career took off from there.
When Oliver Stone enlisted in the army, it was because his life had completely turned around and was going straight into the dirt. He felt like there was nothing left and specifically requested to go to Vietnam.


Film Content & Themes


Oliver Stone's approach to movies varies from theme to theme. The essential element of his work is heavy moments of what can be considered "real-time" actions. Simply put, Oliver Stone's movies focus on relevant moments of the script and extreme pathos for almost every character. It is rare to find two-dimensionality within any Oliver Stone villain or hero.

The essential focus of many of Stone's works seems to be moral-ambiguity and shades of gray. Even within movies such as Natural Born Killers complete good and evil seems to be irrelevant to the overall humanity of characters. In other movies such as Platoon and Any Given Sunday the suspense and build-up of characters fall short of the humanity the character's represent. An essential element to his movies also apparent is the means within good people to do evil and within evil people to do good.

Style / Vision


"Looking back at my life now, I realize that it was the Dream that propelled me forward into all my memorable actions-the Dream allowed me to believe I could do certain things in my life, as impossible as they seemed, like go to war, go to sea, make love to exotic women, have children I could create and love as ongoing reincarnations, and make movie illusions that others would see."
- Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone's style is very similar to directors like Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino, involving emotional extremes and dramatizations used to expose the animosity of humanity. Stone is also notorious for his use of interesting camera angles, quick transitions from scene to scene and overlaying of multiple events at once.

The Shadow figure in many of Stone's movies is not a typical character but is rather the feelings and emotions of both protagonists and antagonists as they mix.

Analysis of Key Film


The movie Platoon is the archetype Oliver Stone work. The movie is all about the atrocities of war and the fight between morality and victory. The main character is probably a representation of Stone himself during the Vietnam War; an educated individual who decided to fight because he felt that it was right. The main opponent of the main character is the actions that he faces and how he responds to them. After a moral struggle between two commanding officers the main character goes through a dynamic choice to become human in a world filled with monsters.

The essential element of Platoon is the fight to be human in a situation where humanity is seen as a sign of weakness.

Major Films & Awards


  • Films and awards
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Alexander
JFK
Platoon
Natural Born Killer
The Doors
Born on the Fourth of July
Wall Street
Any Given Sunday
Salvador
Nixon
Talk Radio
U-Turn
Heaven and Earth
The Hand
World Trade Center

Visuals / Trailers

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Platoon - Iconic Scene (Sgt: Elias)

Sources / Links

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000231/
http://www.oscarworld.net/ostone/
http://www.filmmakers.com/artists/oliverstone/biography/


Image Sources

www.austinfilmfestival.com

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