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Oliver Stone, the worse moviemaker imaginable for the task

Oliver Stone, a man who is nothing less than a fountain of lies and inanities, is looking to make a movie about Edward Snowden. Frankly even that later day Ed Wood, Uwe Boll, would be preferable.

Hopefully Barbara Broccoli would do a better job… though as the Snowden story is very much still ‘a work in progress’ I cannot help thinking it is a tad premature to be trying to tell a tale whose outcome is far from obvious.

22 comments to Oliver Stone, the worse moviemaker imaginable for the task

  • Kevin B

    At first glance, Perry, Stone seems eminently suited for the task since the whole Edward Snowden story so far is “nothing less than a fountain of lies and inanities”. with a load of internet conspiracy theory thrown in. (That being another of Oliver’s specialities.)

  • Paul Marks

    I have no desire for another argument (which is one reason why I have been limiting myself to one comment per post on this site – I do not care about having arguments with people I do not care about, but I do care about people here).

    However, Oliver Stone is exactly the sort of person Mr Snowden would have chosen – one can tell that by Mr Snowden’s connection with Mr Greenwald.

    Even if Mr Snowden is not a formal officer of the FSB (not on the pension plan and so on) he clearly has been working with (if not for) them for a long time. And (of course) Mr Stone has been on the side of the KGB for many years.

    However, I find the attitude of the Obama Administration more interesting – for it is double one.

    On the official level the Obama Administration is hostile to Mr Snowden – insisting that he come home to face the “Justice system” (even I had to smile at that one – after all the FEDERAL court system is a conviction machine no sane person would hand himself over to such a machine, unless the fix was in…..). But (underneath official level) the Obama Administration pets actively cooperate with Mr Snowden.

    The New York Times (apart from a recent book review of Mr Greenwald’s work – and the negative book review was condemned by the “Ombudsman” of the NYT, HOW DARE someone have a negative view of Mr Greenwald and Mr Snowden!) has acted as an echo chamber for Snowden-Greenwald (read the FSB) as has NBC (and the other television networks) with the more recent example being a fawning interview of Mr Snowden by Brian Williams (someone whom Mr Snowden has attacked in the past as being an American government mouthpiece).

    If the Obama Administration was really hostile to Mr Snowden (as it pretends to be) then the drip feed of confidential stories (and ACCESS to Obama and co) upon which the New York Times, Washington Post ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN television (and so on) depend would be cut off – no such thing has happened (the love-in between the Obama Administration and the main stream media continues).

    So what is going on?

    Actually it is quite simple.

    Mr Snowden and Mr Obama (and his faction within the government) are BOTH enemies of the United States – so however much they spit and hiss at each other they are, fundamentally, on the same side.

    Even if Mr Obama had Mr Snowden killed it would not alter this point – after all Mr Snowden has already served his purpose (and is, therefore, disposable) indeed his being murdered by the CIA (or whoever) might serve the cause (the cause of attacking the United States – making America look bad).

    None of the above should be taken to mean that there is no difference between Mr Obama and Mr Putin – on the contrary, only Mr Obama is actually a Marxist (Mr Putin is “just” a vicious gangster with a pathological hatred of the West generally and the United States in particular).

    However, on one thing Mr Obama and Mr Putin are in accord – their hatred of the United States (their desire to do America harm).

    In his small way Mr Snowden helps them with this task.

    Does Mr Snowden know that he is doing that?

    I do not know – but recent things I have heard from Mr Snowden (for example his conversation with Mr Putin broadcast on Russian television, and his interview with Mr Brian Williams) indicates that he is an active hostile, not an innocent dupe.

    Short version…..

    Mr Obama = “Death to America!” (even if he did not really write “Dreams From My Father” the agitprop views within it are his – and he has not changed).

    The MSM (including the entertainment media such as Mr Stone) = “Death to America!” After all they are the products (the “good student” products) of the education system.

    Mr Putin = “Death to America!” (although for personal – rather than ideological reasons).

    And Mr Snowden (almost but NOT QUITE for certain) also = “Death to America!”.

  • he clearly has been working with (if not for) them for a long time

    Really? And you know this how?

    I do not know – but recent things I have heard from Mr Snowden (for example his conversation with Mr Putin broadcast on Russian television, and his interview with Mr Brian Williams) indicates that he is an active hostile

    Well I am actively hostile to the American security state these days too. I would be delighted to see the NSA EMP’ed and then burned to the ground. Why am I not getting some Roubles sent to my account every month? It seems unfair!

  • Oliver Stone is an extremely talented director and scriptwriter. Not just in a “pretty good” sense, either. He is a major talent. When he seeks to make a straight thriller just intended as entertainment, the result is normally terrific.

    However, movies don’t require scrupulous logic to be good movies. All that is necessary is for the plot to make enough sense that the audience can suspend disbelief when they are watching it. The trouble with Stone’s movies that purport to be about real life is that they still only contain the level of narrative sense necessary for a fun movie, complete with that lack of actually having to hold together when you think about it later. Real life requires more narrative sense, and Stone doesn’t seem to feel the need to provide it.

  • …and Stone doesn’t seem to feel the need to provide it.

    You are far too kind Michael, he is wilfully full of shit if it suits his political agenda. Hence my jibe about preferring Uwe Boll (debatably the most inept movie maker of all time) as I would prefer an inept movie to one that is a magnificently made steaming pile of lies.

  • Laird

    I’m not quite sure what Kevin B is referring to when he says that the Snowden story is “nothing less than a fountain of lies and inanities”: Snowden or the US government? Because so far everything Snowden said has been proven true, and everything the government said has been proven false.

    In any event, if anyone hasn’t read Greenwald’s book I highly recommend it. The story of how Snowden reached out to Greenwald (and Laura Poitras), their eventual meeting in Hong Kong, and getting the Guardian to publish the revelations is a fascinating one. (Frankly, I don’t think Greenwald himself comes off very well in terms of his sensitivity to the need for data encryption or his sense of urgency about the matter, but at least he got there eventually. And I suppose that adds an element of drama to the tale.) That in itself would make this a fine movie. The fact that the information is so important (far more important, in my opinion, than Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers) makes it doubly valuable.

    Stone may be highly partisan, but he’s on the “right” side in this case so the result should be worthwhile. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    By the way, if anyone doesn’t know this, Greenwald has now left the Guardian, and he and Poitras (among others) have set up a new website called The Intercept, devoted to continuing the exposure of NSA illegalities (and eventually expanding into other areas as well). It’s worth bookmarking. In the book he mentioned that he was considering this; I’m glad it has come to pass.

  • Regional

    The Entertainment Industry has paralysed America’s will to fight and the only foreseeable threat is from the Islamic world but a couple of episodes of above average temperature should solve the problem. China is no threat as America is their biggest customer and the Russians have no ideology that compels them to fight America. But as Teddy Roosevelt I believe said walk in peace but carry a big stick.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    June 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm
    China is no threat as America is their biggest customer….

    Au contraire, America is no threat as China is their biggest supplier (in gross dollars).

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I should point out that the quality of a movie about Snowden is irrelevant because Snowden is irrelevant: the story is the NSA surveillance state, and the movie becomes important only if it distracts from the story.

  • Nick (Blame FrenchMEN) Gray

    I watched Stone’s movie about Bush, and was impressed by his attempts to be evenhanded, so he might do a good job of this one.
    As for you not getting money from Putin even though you also want the NSA destroyed, Perry, he might simply be waiting for you to ask him! Go now and see if he’ll pay you! (Just don’t admit that you also want to destroy all spy agencies- the Russians might want to keep theirs!)

  • Vinegar Joe

    I think Will Smith should play the lead.

  • I should point out that the quality of a movie about Snowden is irrelevant because Snowden is irrelevant

    No, Snowden is far from irrelevant. Indeed if they had him in a Federal jail right now, like some well meaning libertarians who act like the “useful idiots” of the panoptic state think he should be, I suspect that for most people other than a few shrill activists, the story of the NSA surveillance state would already have vanished from the front pages of the world, and it would be well on the way to vanishing down the memory hole.

    If the whole alphabet soup of like minded panoptic enthusiasts from Fort Meade to Cheltenham to Peking are ever to be thwarted, that pearl of resistance will have formed around the ongoing irritant that is Edward Snowden.

  • Snowden is indeed irrelevant in the larger scheme of things, but he is quite relevant to any movie that may be made about this affair. Movies are about drama, and there is no drama without a human story, and this particular human story is very interesting, no matter what one thinks of the man, his deeds and motives. That said, a good movie will leave room for the exposition of the larger issue at hand – namely, the modern Surveillance State. With all due respect to Stone’s artistic abilities (and there is some, and then some more – although he tends to be is a bit overrated as a filmmaker too), I do not hold my breath for him to handle either story (neither the personal nor the public) intellectually honestly and vigorously.

  • That said (lack of proper proofreading and all), what Perry said, too. Good point.

  • Dale Amon

    Even Snowden says he isn’t that important to the big picture. All that he did was hand us the keys to our cell… and for it he is now a hunted man and a Stateless person. The real story is about whether we take those keys, open our cells, and proceed to cut the security state into bite sized chunks. One way to do this is to get out and help the Paul father and son duo in fighting the good fight.

    I know I will never see it, but I really would like to see a lot of top level people in NSA spending years behind bars.

  • Dale Amon

    Oh, and as to the ‘story’ that Snowden was working for the Russians… I am pretty sure the source of that story is very much with the people who I wouldn’t believe if they told me the sun was going to rise tomorrow. It hardly matters what they say any more. As far as I am concerned, they are a pack of compulsive liars and scoundrels who can be counted on to say exactly whatever helps their narrative.

  • Nick (Blame FrenchMEN) Gray

    Dale, I hate to tell this to you, but the Sun is NOT going to rise tomorrow. The Earth will spin, and that will give the appearance that the Sun is rising, but it’s not true!
    Just thought I should let you know.
    P.S. Also, Santa Claus IS real, but went bankrupt during the GFC. If he ever gets back on his two fat feet, it’ll be a $2 limit on all presents. But, like his waist, that’s a BIG ‘if’.

  • Au contraire, America is no threat as China is their biggest supplier (in gross dollars).

    Trade is good?

  • Yes I was a bit baffled by that remark too Michael.

  • Dale Amon

    Absolutely Nick. The NSA lied and the Bill of Rights died.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    It may not be so bad, having Stone make this movie. Remember how horrified we were at the prospect of him making a 9/11 movie? And yet World Trade Center ended up being a forgettable Poseidon Adventure knockoff.

  • Well, Stone is a terrible movie maker. JFK was a crock and packed to the rafters with deceit. Oh, and dull. Platoon was drivel. Born on the 4th of July similar indulgent wank.