Tag Archives: movies

Oliver Stone Quotes

“The past assumes the nature of the present.”

“I would vote for the man who’s lived life, who’s done different occupations, who’s been out in the real world and struggled to make a living, struggled to raise a family, struggled with life as it exists. So I’d vote for experience, honest experience.”

“I think experience will teach you a combination of liberalism and conservatism. We have to be progressive and at the same time we have to retain values. We have to hold onto the past as we explore the future.”

“Every day that you get up, it’s some kind of victory if you’re making a good product, or working on a project that can only help mankind.”

“I think you can maintain two tracks. I think you have to. That’s what this kind of filmmaking is about. If you’re not aware of the limitations of what you’re up against… it’s like a general: you have to know your artillery and you have to know your infantry. You have to know what you have. You have to marshal your forces and use them well. It comes down to the personal and the intimate, but at the same time you have to have the big picture.”

“When you look at a movie, you look at a director’s thought process.”

“I think our life is a series of adventures.”

“JFK was leading the world, leading the United States into a new position with the Soviet Union. He was calling for the end of the Cold War. He would have been reelected in 1964 because he was vastly popular.”

“I may have disparaged the idea that people are looking at films on smaller and smaller screens… it’s a shame that people have to watch DVDs with the lights on in a television-type situation where people are wandering in and out of the room. Movies are different from television, and you cannot watch movies like television. It distorts it.”

“Forget the grand plan. Forget the master scheme. Forget control. That is the bleak but true basis of independent cinema. Inch by motherflooging inch we must, because we have no other choice.”

“If you make the movie from your heart and it stands over time, that’s what matters to me.”

“Everyone in the world is impacted by the United States’ Big Brother attitude toward the world. We need countries to say no to the United States. The United States is the dominant power in the universe, with its eavesdropping abilities, cyber abilities. And the world is in danger with our tyranny.”

“You can never judge how the film will be taken; you can only make your best effort, and put out what you feel. How it’s read, you never can tell. Or remembered for that matter.”

“Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that.”

“I love films. I love fiction films, too. I do. I love making them, but it has to be the right one. Hopefully, I’ll never become a director for hire. It’s horrible to make a film that you’re not really interested in.”

“Hell is the impossibility of reason.”

“I knew that one day I would come to this point that I would make something so outrageous and so ambitious that… it’d be that Don Quixote feeling, that I’d have to tilt at a windmill. Sometimes you’ve got to do it. That’s the only way you can do things.”

“Football is mesmerizing, because it’s a figurative war. You go in one direction till you get there, but you get there as a team, not as an individual. Players bond whether they’re black or white, much as soldiers do.”

“I went to Vietnam, and I was there for a long time. [Using marijuana] made the difference between staying human or, as Michael Douglas said, becoming a beast.”

“We all know what we know. We experience with our minds and breath.”

“Coming Home had been made before and Apocalypse Now and Deer Hunter, different kinds of movies.”

“I’m a dramatist. Dramatists have a right to look at history and interpret it the way they see it.”

“I would vote for the man who’s lived life, who’s done different occupations, who’s been out in the real world and struggled to make a living, struggled to raise a family, struggled with life as it exists. So I’d vote for experience, honest experience.”


Film Review: Romance, Deception, and Destiny in My Cousin Rachel

As the title of the film suggests, the plot of My Cousin Rachel centers on the character of Rachel Ashley, the recently widowed wife of a man whose cousin, Philip (Sam Claflin), suspects her of poisoning him.  His estate in Cornwall, England, passes entirely to him on his twenty-fifth birthday, by which time Rachel, played with soldering torch intensity by Rachel Weiss, has endeared herself to him, having come to live in Cornwall after Philip’s cousin dies.  Intriguing performances, masterful direction, and evocative cinematography enrich this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel.

Among Du Maurier’s other works adapted for the screen are Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, Hungry Hill, Don’t Look Now, and The Birds, all films conveying a powerful current of suspense.  My Cousin Rachel begins by introducing the protagonist, and then his cousin’s mysterious wife whom he hears about through a series of increasingly ominous letters from Ambrose, accusing his new bride of murderous intentions.  Once Ambrose has departed, the presumed result of a brain tumor, and Rachel settles in at the estate in Cornwall, Philip can’t believe such a spirited, captivating woman could be guilty of so diabolical a crime.

Set in the late seventeenth century, the story was inspired by a portrait Du Maurier saw of a lady named Rachel Carew, and while the mystery unfolds eerily, almost dreamily, it also sustains an air of historical fiction.  Philip’s experience of falling for, then later suspecting, and finally, perhaps, despising his cousin’s widow, feels like a true story, vividly recounted by Philip himself with faintly dreadful undertones.  He strives for freedom and fulfillment, but his pursuit is obstructed by a cloud of impatience, youthful boldness, and lurking fear.

Award-worthy performances from Weiss and Claflin in the leading roles, as well as fusion zone supporting work from Holliday Grainger as Philip’s longtime friend and would-be fiancée, Iain Glen as his quietly protective godfather, and Pierfrancesco Favino as Rachel’s companion, Rinaldi, exalt this film to the realm of true greatness.  The question of whether or not Rachel poisoned her husband, Ambrose, remains unanswered throughout the time of her stay with Philip, leaving him, and the audience, torn between the elegant vitality of her character, and the possibility of a lethal darkness at work behind her eyes.

The question of Philip’s destiny plays a significant role, in his moments with Louise (Grainger), prompting us to wonder if she isn’t the one he should be pursuing.  Her love for him is unwavering and evidently more true than the hesitant affection of his cousin Rachel.  At the film’s conclusion, we have to ask not only what really happened when no one was looking, but also what might have happened if Philip had looked beyond his more compelling desires to find a more complete truth.


Film Review: King Arthur, the Legend Begins

The legendary Arthur Pendragon helped to defend Britain against the Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD, and as King, according to certain histories, established an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, and Gaul.  Various stories and poems evolved in which Arthur battles mythical creatures, repels enemy armies, and executes impossible feats of power and skill.  In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the new film from director, Guy Ritchie, the hero fights his way up from the streets of Londinium, only to clash with his villainous uncle Vortigern (Jude Law), once Arthur has liberated the stone-locked Excalibur and thus signified his place in the Pendragon bloodline.

Once withdrawing the magnificent sword, King Arthur, played with unmalleable toughness by Charles Hunnam (The Lost City of Z, Crimson Peak), embarks on a mission to regain his land from the shadowy hold of the hellish sorcerer Mordred.  Along the way he’s joined by Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou), the mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), Goosefat Bill (Aiden Gillan), and others who banter comically between action sequences where enormous beasts, brutal warriors, and lightning-fast weapon play tear up the screen.  When the chosen Arthur wields the sword its rumbling might begins to awaken, as the symbols on its blade shine forth a mystical white light.

Far from a typical action/adventure digital effects-laden spectacle, KA: LOTS rises on pillars of inspired camerawork, forceful acting, fast-paced editing, and a darkly imaginative visual world.  The story advances quickly, slightly detached from the linear progression of time, often flashing back to events being recounted by characters in the present, with rapid dialogue and voiceover tying scenes together.  When Arthur was an infant his father, Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), was slain by his uncle, who transforms into a scythe-wielding, ten-foot tall, demonic reaper at the moment any serious business must be done.  This tragedy haunts him as he traverses threatening landscapes, rallies his comrades, and prepares to conquer Vortigern’s kingdom.

While based on the legends surrounding the historical King Arthur’s rule, the film also incorporates imagery from ancient mythology, English folklore, and possibly sheer imagination, creatures like elephants as tall as skyscrapers, mile-long snakes, and cave-dwelling octopus-women who serve as oracles for Arthur’s nefarious uncle.  The mage employs a well-trained eagle and serpent to aid the bold king in his conquest, and each of his allies has a turn to protect and serve their fearless leader.  The hero himself charges on, although reluctantly at times, unconvinced of his royal destiny until his enemies surround him and the sword’s invincible power gets unleashed.

If this turns out to be a series, the second film will likely portray Arthur as the ambitious, resolute monarch he becomes by the end of the first.  The Knights of the Round Table don’t quite make an appearance in Legend of the Sword, however there may be the beginnings of a Camelot where everyone who sits down with the king is seen as trustworthy and equal.