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Interview with Oliver Stone
A New Millennium Oral History Archives Interview

You've made some great films. What does it take? 

Many things: Social breadth. Galvanic excitement. Burning commitment. A well-written script. Tolerant yet urgent direction. Lighting that's both body and shadow. A camera that sees with the eye of someone--the god in the tapestry. Actors that make the audience feel they care more about these particular faces than people in their own life. A presence in time, a rightness to your moment--in other words, "destiny." 

How is film distinct from other art forms? 

Well, you can tell a story on paper. When you read it, it takes a certain amount of time. It has a given length. Movies transcend time.

Films work at you on an emotional level. And catharsis, you know, you participate with the protagonist and at the end of the deal you've been moved and terrorized. You're cleansed by having felt those emotions. When that happens, it's great. 

Great movies are like Greek dramas. They are shards on the Greek vases that will endure.

I hope movies endure…


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