Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bush responsible for Stone's film flop

Oliver Stone is not a happy man. His film, Alexander, is a certifiable flop, but according to Stone, the film failed not because it was a lousy movie, but because of raging moral fundamentalism.

At the UK premiere of his epic film of Alexander, Oliver Stone last night blamed "raging fundamentalism in morality" for the film's US box office failure.

"Sexuality is a large issue in America right now, but it isn't so much in other countries," the Oscar-winning director explained yesterday. "There's a raging fundamentalism in morality in the United States. From day one audiences didn't show up. They didn't even read the reviews in the [American] south because the media was using the words: 'Alex is Gay'."

That's just one of the reasons he gives. But Stone also said it was too complex for "conventional minds."

"The script was just too ambiguous, too questioning about an action-hero who was masculine/feminine. These are tough qualities in Hollywood," the Platoon director said last month. "It's just too big a life. It doesn't fit in into the Hollywood formula."

Wait . . . so, what's to blame for Stone's flop? Is it raging moral fundamentalism from southerners, or is it the "Hollywood formula"? Remember, this is the same Hollywood that gave us the Alfred Kinsey biopic.

Of Alexander, the New York Times (no bastion of raging moral fundamentalism) wrote "Puerile writing, confused plotting and shockingly off-note performances make Oliver Stone's epic film a disappointment." But of Kinsey they said "Though it has its share of carnality, Bill Condon's wise and witty biography of the sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey is, above all, an intellectual turn-on."

Could it be, Mr. Stone, that your film is just a bad movie? Or is that simply not possible in your egocentric worldview?

Meanwhile, Colin Farrell, who plays the title role, helpfully added his own explanation for the biopic's commercial failure: "The film is a draining experience to watch. It's loaded with mythology, icons, symbolism and destiny."

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which was also loaded with mythology, icons, symbolism, and destiny . . . and was likewise draining, was anything but a commercial failure. So I'm afraid the complexity argument doesn't hold water either.

Above all, my favorite excuse Stone gave for his film's failure is from this Reuters piece.

Stone, a three-time Oscar winner and director of acclaimed films including "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July," said his latest venture had fallen victim to events in Iraq.

"Because Alexander at times sounds like George (W.) Bush, (people) get the two confused," he said.

"I think it makes people feel queasy about empire and the concepts that Alexander espoused, but Alexander was not attacking the east in order to drain it of its resources. He stayed in the east."

Are you sure Karl Rove wasn't involved, Mr. Stone?


At 6:50 PM, Blogger thane777 said...

Well, you know as well as I that nothing is every my fault. We're all just victims. There are no moral absolutes. Of that I am absolutely positive!



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