4 items from 2016
Is Edward Snowden a patriot or traitor? Ever since the former CIA employee managed to disclose thousands of intelligence files in 2013, he's remained a controversial figure; to some, he's endangered national security in the Us and elsewhere, while to others, he's justifiably brought the mass surveillance of billions of citizens to the world's attention.
Director Oliver Stone makes no secret of which side of the argument he comes down on, and Snowden depicts its subject as a kind of modern folk hero: a whistleblower willing to sacrifice his comfortable lifestyle and even his safety to hold the Us government to account. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the perfect choice to play Snowden: initially a 20-something who's invalided out of the army after injuring his legs and displays an »
At first glance, there is little about Snowden that would seem to distinguish it from some of this year’s other “I’m not sure there’s a movie in that true story” based-on-a-true-story movies like Sully and Deepwater Horizon, especially in the wake of the Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate or the exceptional documentary Citizenfour. But Snowden has a secret weapon, and it’s one that I wasn’t expecting: a fully-engaged and on-his-game Oliver Stone. And when Oliver Stone is on his game and fully engaged, there are few filmmakers who are more interesting or provocative. I have been a fan of his work for most of the time I have been a film fan, even before I knew fully who he was. I was drawn to films he had written, and when he made the jump to directing full-time with the back-to-back accomplishment of Salvador and Platoon, »
- Drew McWeeny
It’s safe to say Oliver Stone isn’t exactly fashionable these days, a matter apparent in how the trailer for Snowden instantly became a punching bag on this writer’s Twitter feed. Yet film critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s behemoth of a book, The Oliver Stone Experience, should, with any luck, shift the conversation. Framed as a series of interviews with Stone conducted over the past half-decade or so and interspersed with everything from personal photos to studio-executive notes to archival reviews, this feels like the definitive text on someone once at the center of American cinema. It might not change anyone’s mind on Stone’s films, but with the man being such a raconteur, you’ll still find yourself tearing through it.
We were lucky enough to chat with Seitz over the phone about his undertaking, as well as some thoughts on American politics and cinema in general. »
- Ethan Vestby
Oliver Stone's biopic Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the Nsa whistleblower, will get its European premiere at the 64th edition of the San Sebastian Festival. The film will screen in the Spanish festival's official selection in an out-of-competition slot. The cast also includes Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, Divergent), Melissa Leo and Nicolas Cage. It will be Stone’s seventh visit to the festival, but the first time one of his films has been included in the official selection. In 1986, he brought Salvador to the event for a screening that marked the first at the big Velodrome, where
- Georg Szalai
4 items from 2016
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