Oliver Stone, America Firster, by Bill Kauffman

Oliver Stone is an interesting character and he’s made some controversial movies. From Bill Kauffman at theamericanconservative.com:

At root, Oliver Stone is a patriot who despises the American Empire for corrupting his country, and a far cry from your run-of-the-mill Hollywood liberal.

I first became aware of Oliver Stone when in 1986 I was watching his film Salvador with an audience of left-wing Santa Barbarians. They were enjoying this madcap cinematic indictment of Uncle Sam’s imperialist crimes in Central America—until a scene in which the rebel forces, riding to town like a Marxist cavalry in the righteous cause of The People, began executing the unenlightened. Then the boos rang down.

Who is this guy, I wondered. My curiosity was whetted further when the P.C. reviewer in the Los Angeles Herald denounced Stone’s screenplays for earlier films: “Movies like Midnight Express, Scarface, and Year of the Dragon are such grand-scale xenophobic fever-dreams that they almost demand to be remade into operas, complete with belching smoke and lurid lighting and crimson-suited devils scurrying out of the wings to pitchfork lily-white Mother America.”

Ah, a left-wing America Firster!

Not quite, as his subsequent work and his entertaining new memoir, Chasing the Light, illumine, but Oliver Stone, our most political major filmmaker, evinces a rowdily heterodox vision shaped by the unusual quartet of Jim Morrison, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Capra, and Jean-Luc Godard.

What do you call a man who joins the Merchant Marine on a whim, runs up big pro football gambling debts, and takes the Old Right view of FDR’s foreknowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

I’d call him an American.

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