‘A Day with Oliver Stone’


| jlyons@queenscourier.com |

A recent event at the Museum of the Moving Image (MMI) gave audience members a chance to participate in a question-and-answer session with award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone.

MMI held “A Day with Oliver Stone” on Sunday, March 13. It began with a screening of the 1995 film “Nixon.”

In the evening, “Alexander: Revisited” was screened. This film was originally released in 2004, but Stone went back to the movie two more times to create new versions. “Alexander: Revisited” is the third version, which Stone described as his “clearest interpretation of Alexander’s life.”

“We’re excited about what you’re about to see,” MMI chief curator David Schwartz said before the screening.

Schwartz explained that the museum’s online publication, Moving Image Source, did a series of video essays on Stone, which is how they came to be in contact with him.

“He offered to come here and present ‘Alexander: Revisited.’ This is the first theatrical presentation in New York of this new version…,” Schwartz said. “He’s such an amazing filmmaker. We really are thrilled to show, I think, two of his most ambitious and magnificent films today. We hope to have him back here many times to show his films.”

Stone was on hand to help introduce the film, which he said was “lush and the way I would have liked it to have been.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing it myself here,” Stone said. “I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”

After the film concluded, Stone described it as the best screening of it he had seen.

“It was very special for me,” he said.

Stone also participated in a question-and-answer session moderated by film critic Matthew Zoller Seitz, a contributor to Moving Image Source. Seitz began by asking the acclaimed filmmaker about his fascination with Alexander.

“This guy was everything that you wanted to be as a young boy. He wanted to be a hero, an adventurer,” Stone said. “There was nobody quite like him up until that point. Alexander went beyond all conceptions of what man could be.”

Stone also answered questions about mythologizing experiences in his films, his film structures and making “Alexander.” In regards to “Alexander: Revisited,” Stone said he hopes that more people will see it.

“I think this is the best way to see it,” he said. “It was such a joy to make this movie, [but] it was difficult, no question about it.”

Audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions, such what advice Stone would have for other filmmakers. He spoke about taking whatever the person loves and finding out what makes it special and unique.

Stone also told the audience that, for the last three years, he has been working on a Showtime documentary called “The Forgotten History of the United States,” which he said starts with the 1945 atomic bomb drop. He anticipates it will air at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

“We really go into history because so much has been forgotten and omitted or slanted,” Stone said. “We’re trying to show what we think is the truth.”

The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information on the museum and its programming, visit www.movingimage.us or call 718-777-6888.