FILM / The things they say about . . . Oliver Stone

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The Independent Culture
'What Stone has in Salvador (1986) is a right-wing macho fantasy joined to a left-leaning polemic. He writes and directs as if someone had put a gun to the back of his neck and yelled 'Go]' ' Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.

'Blunt features. Hard man in a soft sweater.' Paul Attanasio, Herald Tribune, 29-1-87.

'I just read an interview with him, where he talked about a dream he'd had that he had to go back to Vietnam and he said he'd woken up sweating and shaking. I don't even remember him having that dream.' Elizabeth Stone, his wife, Times, 4-3-87.

'His scripts for Midnight Express, Scarface and Conan the Barbarian, which have been styled by the unfriendly as crypto-fascist, hardly seem consistent with the progressive, liberal, humanist sympathies suggested by Salvador and Platoon.' David Robinson, Times, 2-4-87.

'Oliver Stone is bizarrely gung-ho, a maker of anti-war films that are paradoxically red-blooded.' Adam Mars-Jones reviews 'Born the Fourth of July', the Independent 1-3- 90.

'If Oliver believes in something, he is unstoppable. He has a single-minded passion. But does he ever listen to anybody?' John Daly, Observer 24-2-91.

'Something is happening as Stone is talking. A few minutes ago he was lucid, but the more he talks about Jim Morrison the more he rambles, sometimes losing the thread of what he is saying, sometimes lapsing into private thoughts, sometimes laughing at himself.' Russell Miller, Sunday Times, 24-2-91.

'Oliver Stone believes that Jim Morrison was 'guiding the movie' (The Doors). ' Richard Brooks, Observer, 24-2-91.

'Stone believes that the CIA is after him because he has just made a rather convincing film suggesting that the CIA was responsible for the assassination of John F Kennedy.' John Diamond, Mail on Sunday, 5-1-92.

'He is a specimen of the 1960s arrested development, the result of self-absorption encouraged by all the rubbish written about his his generation being so unprecedently moral, idealistic, caring etc.' George Will, Times 18-1-92.

'He has been embraced by the Left in America, but he is scarcely a radical. He has a wised-up hipster's view of the world, a druggy cynicism that has been mistaken for an ideological credo.' Sunday Telegraph profile, 9-5-92.

'It goes without saying that his real subject is Oliver Stone.' Sunday Telegraph profile, 9-5-92.

'What he's addressing at the end of it all is . . . Oliver Stone.' 'JFK' star Donald Sutherland, Independent, 18-1-92.

'He has built a shrine to Buddha into each of his four homes. He goes up there to pray to the people of the past. The people who have died, like his father. He tries to get away from the world through Buddha.' Anonymous friend, Today, 5-5-93.

Oliver Stone's 'Wild Palms': Mon and Tues, 9pm, BBC 2