Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Stone’

Putin for President?

June 19, 2017

untitledPutin and Oliver Stone

Last night’s TV watching is what I could do with every night. Forget about all those Master Chefs or Building UK modern houses, or even those new  incomprehensible English crime shows, which are so lost in loud music and serious and significant sideway cast glances by  main actors, that any attention the viewer had intended to give, is soon surrendered over to despair. The Putin- Oliver Stone interview was rivetingly watchable. Not a stir-fry in sight nor a double glazed window. A different kettle of fish.

Of course, Oliver Stone is not known for loving the Republican side of US politics. His keen-eyed  movies and scripts never fail to impress those who are  inclined to be cynical about much of what the US is purporting to stand for. i.e. ” US style  Democracy.” A short version of which is, ‘if you are not with us you are against us,’ and we will hunt/bomb you down mercilessly, and find ways to fill up more of our privately run prisons. I suspect that Oliver Stone might well have been put under scrutiny in the US more than once.

There is a bit of a story attached to Oliver Stone. We actually met him many years ago. Our daughter was working for RoadShow which at the time of the mid eighties promoted and featured upcoming movies. Our daughter, Susanna, was charged with people associated with a particular upcoming movie, to be looked after. This often included booking accommodation for interstate or overseas people associated with a newly released movie. It was a demanding job but she was very good at it. During the mid eighties, one of those overseas guests was Oliver Stone who had just finished making ‘El Salvador.’

We had already seen  Midnight Express of which the script was written by Oliver Stone in the late seventies. At the time that movie was already controversial and even banned in Turkey. With the arrival of El Salvador in 1986, his skill as both scriptwriting and film producer were already well established. We we were not al all familiar with many films but we did go to movies occasionally. Our daughter managed to sometimes get free tickets and so it was with the  showing of El Salvador at a theatre in Paddington, of which I have forgotten it’s name. Perhaps it was called The Dandy, or some similar silly name. Both our daughter and us decided to see that movie on a weekday. A normal day.

As we queued up for the tickets, Susanna was poked in the ribs by someone behind her. When she turned around, her gaze was met by Oliver Stone whom she apparently had me at the Roadshow office several times already.  She laughed and after a bit of a talk with him, introduced us to  him. “These are my parents, Helvi and Gerard”, she must have said. The exact details of word order might well have been a bit different.  It could just as easily have been; “This is Oliver Stone, these are my parents.” It has been so many years ago! We shook hands, he had large hands.

Anyway, we sauntered in. ( ‘sauntering in,’ is what people do, slowly entering cinemas or church services but not train carriages. We ‘enter or push into’ rail carriages. The movie was very terrifying of how things can go so badly wrong from one moment to the other. We exited the cinema in a haze of incredulity. How could that have happened?  We did not see Oliver Stone ever again, except through his movies. He must have got out earlier. He perhaps wanted to find out how his movie was received in Australia with a different audience.

The interview with Putin is what really made me ponder the pity of it all. Why not have a Putin for US president? Such erudite reasoning. Oh, those direct answers. No aggrandisement nor pursing of lips. And above all, his understanding of the US. At one stage seemingly knowing more about US trade deficits than even Oliver Stone.

On the other hand, Oliver Stone does enjoy the freedom of critical  exposing the US in his movies. We know so little about Russia, much of it mangled by US propaganda. I was in Russia for a short period and loved it.

Even so,  a Putin for US president would be a way forward compared with the present one.

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The New York steak makes US all good.

September 7, 2014

imagesNewYork steak

There is nothing more unreliable than the memories of writers. Remind them of what they wrote last year and they will vehemently deny it. Such is their hold on facts. No sooner have they put down their feeble thoughts and their mind’s shredder takes over and it all ends up into oblivion. Forgetfulness is their raison d’être for writing things down. Forget about vivid evocative pictures as absolute truth.

That’s why my posting the link to Dutch Professor’s Cees Hamelink’s ‘Apology to Putin’ ought to be taken in the same obscure vein. He might well fall in the category of being a nutcase. His writings as short-lived as a fly spinning around on the floor in a last frenzy. It is my own default position; Why not those of others?

Even so, I don’t think America was all that pleased with Mr Fidel Castro either, perched on their side of the world. I have some sympathy for Putin being chagrined about sharing a border with a Pro-West leaning country. Can you imagine the Golden arched Big M in front of the St Petersburg’s Winter Palace?

I am sure the US was miffed with the leftists governments in South America. I have seen enough Oliver Stone movies to consider that the victims of Pinochet, the uprisings of Nicaragua by the Sandinistas, many of the Latin Countries, opposed by the CIA and their induced bloody adventures, would far outweigh anything that has happened so far in the Ukraine. Don’t get me going on Colombia and their past pro US dictators. Garcia Marquez wrote all about that.

It is after all Father’s day.

As early as yesterday I was treated and feted as a good father. I chose New York Steak with peppery sauce. It was fabulous and America is the best country in the world. I haven’t had such a lovely meal for a long time. Sorry vegetarians, I admit to liking a meaty dinner but as a concession and feeble purgatory aim, I have also doubled my vegie and fish intake.

Before plunging in the details of New York Steak, I believe it is known as Porterhouse in England and in Australia. It is the short loin section at the back of the cow. I suppose ‘New York’ steak adds weight and ..above all prestige…Some of my best friends are American and I have always revered New York ,even considered visiting it many times.

An impression once caught sometimes lingers forever while others end into oblivion. I am sure that my New York steak with peppery sauce has now made me benevolent, even more determined to visit that lovely country. We might even go far South to partake in a piece of grilled, honey glazed honest Kansas Steak.
How about that?
It’s delight will last forever.