×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Oliver Stone Experience’ Book Illuminates Controversial Director’s Career

Jammed with lengthy and insightful Q&As with three-time Oscar-winner Oliver Stone, as well as news clippings, script pages, rare photos, and production memos, Matt Zoller Seitz’s 480-page book “The Oliver Stone Experience” is, like the filmmaker and his movies, obsessive and captivating.

Even longtime fans of the polarizing but undeniably brilliant director might not know the practical reason behind the innovative style of “JFK,” that “The Doors” was originally visualized as a Fellini movie, or why Stone was sued for incitement of violence in the wake of “Natural Born Killers.” Other highlights of the book, available Sept. 13 for $50, include treatments for unproduced films, storyboards, and scene breakdowns.

More than just a fawning career survey, Seitz’s probing questions challenge Stone on a number of important subjects, including the representation of women in his work. Seitz argues that prior to the 1993 drama “Heaven and Earth,” Stone’s female characters were either thinly-written supporting roles or altogether nonexistent. The director, of course, disagrees. Their intellectual sparring over the issue forms one of the book’s most fascinating chapters.

Beginning with his childhood, and encompassing his combat duty in Vietnam, the book analyzes Stone’s films from an intensely psychological viewpoint. At times, this puts the author and subject amusingly at odds with each other. When Seitz examines the director’s early low-budget horror films “Seizure” and “The Hand” for autobiographical nuance, Stone sounds understandably skeptical.

Covering everything from Stone’s work-for-hire scripts on troubled films like “Eight Million Ways to Die” to his latest work “Snowden,” the book is sure to provide both fans and detractors with a wealth of new material to chew on.

(Pictured: Oliver Stone shooting 1979’s “Mad Man of Martinique”)

More Film

  • Seu Jorge, director Wagner Moura, Bella

    Makers of Berlin Competition Title 'Marighella' Worry About Distribution at Home

    Worried that growing political tension in Brazil may hamper the domestic release of “Marighella,” Wagner Moura’s directorial debut about a leftist revolutionary, the movie’s producers may seek to crowd-fund its distribution independently. “We are going to fight for it,” producer Andrea Barata Ribeiro said ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Berlinale on Friday. [...]

  • Isle of Dogs

    ‘Isle of Dogs’ Called for a Thousand Sophisticated Puppets

    Andy Gent says it was clear as soon as he read Wes Anderson’s script for “Isle of Dogs” that the project was very ambitious. It just took a while to understand exactly how ambitious. For example, it was originally estimated the animated movie would require between 300 and 400 puppets, the same number needed for [...]

  • Roger Guyett Integrated Old and New

    'Ready Player One' Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg's Take

    In helmer Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” a vast group of familiar characters and those created for the film had to be integrated into one story and some had to travel between two worlds. Visual-effects supervisor Roger Guyett knew he’d be working with multiple styles and sources to pull it off. Original characters including the [...]

  • Left to right: Emily Blunt plays

    How 'A Quiet Place' Sound Editors Scared Audience Sans Noise

    What if living in silence was your only means of survival? That’s the question supervising sound editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl had to answer in the hair-raising thriller “A Quiet Place” from co-writer-director John Krasinski, who also starred alongside wife Emily Blunt as the on-screen couple Lee and Evelyn Abbott. The allegory [...]

  • Stan amd Ollie Movie Makeup

    In 'Stan & Ollie,' Makeup Magic Transformed John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan Into Iconic Duo

    The second Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly appear onscreen in “Stan & Ollie,” there is no question that they are the legendary Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, respectively. The physical transformations masterminded by prosthetic makeup designer Mark Coulier and makeup and hair designer Jeremy Woodhead are that remarkable, enabling the actors to fully inhabit [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski Cold War

    ‘Cold War’ Returns to Gold Standard on Cinematography

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s tale of star-crossed lovers in the aftermath of World War II, is framed in a distinctive squarish, 1.37:1 frame. With deep focus black-and-white photography by Pawlikowski’s fellow Pole Lukasz Zal, the film has been gaining interest beyond the lensing community — “Cold War” is nominated for three Oscars: foreign-language film, directing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content