×
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”)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content