July 13, 2005

Oliver Stone's Response to 9/11

Mickey Kaus, who is by no means a conservative, neo-conservative, or Republican has an interesting column on Kausfiles regarding Oliver Stone's views on 9/11:

Here's what Oliver Stone, the man Paramount CEO Brad Grey picked to direct the studio's upcoming 9/11 picture, had to say about those events a month after they happened, as reported in The New Yorker. It's the smoking gun on the grassy knoll! Stone depicts the 9/11 attack as a "revolt" against the "six companies who control the world" and "control culture, and control ideas"--not oil companies, in other words, but media companies. 9/11 was, in short, about him. (And Vietnam, of course.) He's profoundly confused, but he seems to know--emotionally, at least--which side he's on:

[O]liver Stone, another panelist, shook his head in disbelief. From the start of the discussion, Stone, the writer-director of such political films as "Salvador" and "JFK," had seemed jumpy, swivelling his thick neck like a turret gun at the sound of any foolishness or naïveté. Now his voice rumbled up from his chest and he began to illuminate the dark levers that move the film industry and, by extension, the world. "There's been conglomeration under six principal princes—they're kings, they're barons!—and these six companies have control of the world," he said, referring to such corporations as Fox and AOL Time Warner. His voice grew louder as his ideas took shape. "Michael Eisner decides, 'I can't make a movie about Martin Luther King, Jr.—they'll be rioting at the gates of Disneyland!' That's bullshit! But that's what the new world order is." There was a storm of applause. "They control culture, they control ideas. And I think the revolt of September 11th was about 'Fuck you! Fuck your order—' " "Excuse me," a fellow-panelist, Christopher Hitchens, said. " 'Revolt'?" "Whatever you want to call it," Stone said. "It was state-supported mass murder, using civilians as missiles," said Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation.

Stone wagged his head and continued. "The studios bought television stations," he said. "Why? Why did the telecommunications bill get passed at midnight, a hidden bill at midnight? The Arabs have a point! They're going to be joined by the people who objected in Seattle, and the usual ten per cent who are against everything, and it's going to be, like, twenty-five per cent of this country that's against the new world order. We need a trustbuster like Teddy Roosevelt to take the television stations away from the film companies and give them back to the people!" There was more applause, and a few uncertain murmurs. "Does anybody make a connection between the 2000 election"—for the Presidency—"and the events of September 11th?" he asked, and added cryptically, "Look for the thirteenth month!" He went on to say that the Palestinians who danced at the news of the attack were reacting just as people had responded after the revolutions in France and Russia. ...

"The new world order is about order and control," he said. "This attack was pure chaos, and chaos is energy. All great changes have come from people or events that were initially misunderstood, and seemed frightening, like madmen. Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Gates. I think, I think . . . I think many things." He explained how the World Bank, McDonald's, and the studios' response to the threat of a Writers Guild strike last year were all manifestations of the new global conspiracy of order. "This is the time for a bullet of a film about terrorism, like 'The Battle of Algiers' "—Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 movie about the conflict between the French and F.L.N. terrorist cells in Algeria, in which the director's sympathies lie with the terrorists. "You show the Arab side and the American side in a chase film with a 'French Connection' urgency, where you track people by satellite, like in 'Enemy of the State.' My movie would have the C.I.A. guys and the F.B.I. guys, but they blow it. They're a bunch of drunks from World War II who haven't recovered from the disasters of the sixties—the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam. [Emphasis added]

I previously wrote a column on my blog expressing some uncertainty as to whether Oliver Stone was the right man to do a film about 9-11. Oliver Stone is definitely a very talented filmmaker, however, you can tell from these rants that he may not exactly "get it" about 9-11. 9-11 was not a "revolution" - it was mass murder. There was nothing glorious or honorable about murdering the air crews on 4 planes and then crashing the fully loaded planes into the WTC, the Pentagon or the countryside. Over 3,000 people died on 9-11.
America doesn't need a film about 9-11 where the director's sympathies lie with Al Quaeda.
It is possible that Oliver Stone's new movie will not display these view points, but if this is truly how the man feels, it may be unavoidable.
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