Oliver Stone's USA: Film, History, and Controversy / Edition 1

Oliver Stone's USA: Film, History, and Controversy / Edition 1

by Robert Brent Toplin
     
 

Challenging audiences and leaving critics in disarray, the films of Oliver Stone have compelled viewers to reexamine many of their most revered beliefs about America's past. Like no other filmmaker, Stone has left an indelible mark on public opinion and political life, even as he has generated enormous controversy and debate among those who take issue with his

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Overview

Challenging audiences and leaving critics in disarray, the films of Oliver Stone have compelled viewers to reexamine many of their most revered beliefs about America's past. Like no other filmmaker, Stone has left an indelible mark on public opinion and political life, even as he has generated enormous controversy and debate among those who take issue with his dramatic use of history.

This book brings Stone face-to-face with some of his most thoughtful critics and supporters and allows Stone himself ample room to respond to their views. Featuring such luminaries as David Halberstam, Stephen Ambrose, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Walter Lafeber, and Robert Rosenstone, these writers critique Stone's most contested films to show how they may distort, amplify, or transcend the historical realities they appear to depict.

These essays—on Salvador, Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, JFK, Heaven and Earth, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon—enlarge our understanding of Stone's films, while also giving us a fuller appreciation of the filmmaker as artist and intellectual. They reveal how Stone's experience in Vietnam colors his views of American government and corporate culture and suggest new ways of looking at the complex tensions between art and history that shape Stone's films.

In response, Stone offers an articulate and passionate defense of his artistic vision. Disavowing once and for all the mantle of "cinematic historian," Stone declares himself first and foremost a storyteller, a dramatist and mythmaker who deliberately refashions historical facts in pursuit of higher truths. The undeniable centerpiece of this artistic manifesto is Stone's fascinating commentary on the making and meanings of JFK, the film that reopened a case that many thought finally closed.

A provocative and timely reexamination of a great American artist, Oliver Stone's USA will also reignite public debate over the relationship between history and art as well as the artist's responsibility to his audience.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700612574
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
02/18/2003
Series:
CultureAmerica Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
335
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Part I: Framing the Debate

Introduction, Robert Brent Toplin

Oliver Stone as Historian, Robert A. Rosenstone

Stone on Stone's Image (As Presented by Some Historians), Oliver Stone

A Sacred Mission: Oliver Stone and Vietnam, Randy Roberts and David Welky

Part II: The Films

Salvador, Walter LaFeber

Platoon, David Halberstam

Wall Street, Martin S. Fridson

New Left, Revisionist, In-Your-Face History: Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July Experience, Jack E. Davis

The Lizard King or Fake Hero? Oliver Stone, Jim Morrison, and History, James R. Farr

Oliver Stone, JFK, and History, Michael L. Kurtz

Heaven and Earth, Le Ly Hayslip

Way Cooler Than Manson: Natural Born Killers, David T. Courtright

Nixon, Stephen E. Ambrose, George S. McGovern, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Part III: Stone Responds

On Seven Films, Oliver Stone

On Nixon and JFK, Oliver Stone

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Contributors

Index

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