Monday, January 21, 2008

Stoning Bush

If ye have tears for George W. Bush, prepare to shed them now. Oliver Stone is going to make a movie about him.

On the other hand, that may be the Decider's best chance for an upgrade in history. In some quarters, such as this one, there is great sympathy for the subjects of Stone's blow-torch reinventions of the truth, as in his lie-filled "JFK" about the assassination.

"It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to 'Nixon,' to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin," Stone tells Variety. "But if 'Nixon' was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone. People have turned my political ideas into a cliche, but that is superficial. I'm a dramatist who is interested in people, and I have empathy for Bush as a human being..."

Stone's empathy is illustrated by his description of the theme of his projected "fair, true portrait of the man: How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?"

This new project will replace Stone's attempt to immortalize Iran's Ahmadinejad, who turned him down last year because he is "part of the great Satan."

Stone began his career as a moviemaker in the 1970s after returning from Vietnam, in his words, "very mixed up, very alienated, very paranoid." If his goal has been to make us all that way, he has been doing very well. Whatever he does to George W. Bush won't change that.

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