“I myself don’t consciously try to be politically correct or engineer what I am according to anyone’s tastes,” was one of the first statements Academy Award winning filmmaker Oliver Stone made while addressing the media at the 12th Mumbai Film Festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images on Tuesday.
The director, who will be presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the festival organisers, is in the city for the screening of the re-edited version of his 2004 film, Alexander.
The re-edited film, Alexander Revisited, will be screened at the festival in the city on Wednesday night.
“I had finished shooting Alexander in March, and Warner Bros wanted the film by November. I did not do myself or the film justice. It fared poorly in English speaking countries. We need to adopt Bollywood’s internal style of filmmaking. It rips your guts out to see a film change because of this time structure,” said Stone, when asked what pushed him to cut another version.
Stone’s filmography clearly shows his interest in concepts such as war, politics, finance and biographies as topics to make films on.
And following in that league is his next. He has just finished shooting a TV documentary called, The Untold History of the United States.
According to Stone, the 12-hour compilation, “is meant for all the children and my children, who never got to see what really happened in the history of United States. I don’t agree with a lot of things that happened. Any war after the World War 2 is unjustifiable. I have explored a lot of topics in American politics.”
His latest film, Wall Street 2, that released last month came as a sequel to Wall Street, which released in 1987.
He calls the first film a “Love letter to New York,” since his father was a broker.
Between then and now, Stone feels he has seen an entire country’s financial dynamics change.
Commenting on the message that the film put across as opposed to what really happened in the US, Stone said, “‘Greed is good’ the tag line from Wall Street was a tongue-in-cheek statement. Greed was never good. In 1987, there was a financial and economic bubble that the US was in, but then the banks lost the trust of the people. That is a huge social problem that we will take many years to deal with.”
“The right wing has been very destructive; almost like one side doesn’t care if the US seizes to function at all. And if this continues perhaps the state will decline even further.”