Monday Sees Oliver Stone Attending 2018 Fajr Filmfest

Monday Sees Oliver Stone Attending 2018 Fajr Filmfest

American director, screenwriter and producer, three-times Oscar winner, Oliver Stone is scheduled to attend the 2018 Fajr International Film Festival on Monday.

The distinguished guest arrived in Tehran Sunday night after spending the day in the historic city of Isfahan. Stone is scheduled to also hold a one-day directing workshop in Charsou Cineplex, the main festival venue.

The American film maker is best known for the hit films Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers. Stone devoted much of the early 1980s to writing screenplays, including Conan the Barbarian (1982), Scarface (1983), which was directed by Brian De Palma and starred Al Pacino, and Year of the Dragon (1985). He returned to directing with Salvador (1986), which he also wrote. In the film, a journalist (played by James Woods) documents the atrocities committed during the El Salvador uprisings of 1980–81.

Stone again drew on the trauma of the Vietnam War in Platoon (1986), for which he won another Academy Award, this time for directing. The film navigates the perils of war from the perspective of a new recruit who quickly realizes that the idealism that motivated his decision to enlist was misguided. Stone drew upon personal experience once more for Wall Street (1987), using memories of his father’s career as a stockbroker to conjure an indictment of the greed and deceit governing the financial world. In 1988, he adapted Eric Bogosian’s Off-Broadway play Talk Radio to film.

Stone emphasized the continuing ramifications of the Vietnam War with Born on the Fourth of July (1989). The film, based on the autobiography of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, chronicles the evolution of a young man, played by Tom Cruise, from patriotic soldier to paraplegic anti-war activist. Stone won an Academy Award for directing that movie and received a fourth career nomination for his writing.

The year 1991 saw the release of both JFK, a polarizing investigation of the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy, and The Doors, a stylish account of the rise and fall of the titular American rock band. In Heaven and Earth (1993), Stone approached the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the perspective of a young Vietnamese woman.

Stone again courted controversy with Natural Born Killers (1994), a film, written by Quentin Tarantino, about the savagely violent exploits of a married couple, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis. While Stone said that the film was meant to be critical of sensationalized violence, some critics found it guilty of exactly what it purported to condemn. Stone then cast Anthony Hopkins in the title role of Nixon (1995), a measured take on the life of the US president. He also developed the screenplay for Evita (1996), an adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Argentine politician Eva Perón (played by Madonna).

In addition to directing and writing, Stone produced many of his own movies. Besides narrative films, he made two documentaries about Latin American politics: Comandante (2003), about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and South of the Border (2009), which focused on several other left-wing leaders, notably Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez. With Peter Kuznick, he also created Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States (2012), a 10-part television documentary (and accompanying book) that took an unorthodox look at the preceding century of American political history. The four-part TV series The Putin Interviews (2017) featured conversations between Stone and the Russian president.

Presided over by writer-director Reza Mirkarimi, the 36th edition of Fajr International Film Festival runs in Charsou Cineplex and other venues in Tehran until April 27. The event organizers are receiving over 300 special guests, ranging from filmmakers to screenwriters, actors to critics and scholars. A-listers like Italian actor Franco Nero are also attending.

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