Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game

Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game

By:  Oliver Stone

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An intimate memoir by the controversial and outspoken, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter about his complicated New York childhood, volunteering for combat, and his struggles and triumphs making such films as Platoon, Midnight Express, and Scarface.

Before the international success of Platoon in 1986, Oliver Stone had been wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam, and spent years writing unproduced scripts while driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life. Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with in-the-moment details of the high and low moments: We see meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July; the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine); his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface; his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino; the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador; and tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award–winning film, Midnight Express.

Chasing the Light is a true insider’s look at Hollywood’s years of upheaval in the 1970s and ’80s.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358345664

  • ISBN-10: 0358345669

  • Pages: 352

  • Price: $15.99

  • Publication Date: 07/21/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 1

O
Author

Oliver Stone

OLIVER STONE is the multiple Oscar-winning writer and director of Platoon, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killer, Midnight Express, and many other films.
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  • reviews
    “Oliver Stone is a giant provocateur in the Hollywood movie system.  His autobiography is a fascinating exposure of Stone’s inner life and his powerful, all devouring energy and genius that drove him to become one of the world's greatest filmmakers. Stone rattles cages. He pricks the bubbles of the namby-pambies. He provokes outrage. He stirs up controversy. He has no respect for safe places. Oliver Stone is larger than life. Chasing the Light says it all.”    

    —Sir Anthony Hopkins

    “Oliver Stone's narrative, his life story about the heartbreaks, the near misses, and finally the triumphs is a Hollywood movie in itself. I thank Oliver for writing Chasing the Light, especially for my NYU grad film students—or anybody else with artistic dreams of working in this thing called the movie business. Oliver, in honest and sometimes brutal fashion, lays it out—what it took for him to get to where he hoped to be—a  successful writer/director working in Hollywood; the road it took is hard AF. Bravo.Bravo.Bravo.” 

    —Spike Lee

    "Oliver Stone's story is the story of my generation writ large." 

    —Paul Schrader, screenwriter of Taxi Driver 

     

    “Oliver takes you on a journey of desire, success and failure and ultimately success, deeply personal, with an uncanny self-effacing vulnerability that is not necessarily associated with Oliver; this is a companionable book of profound, usable insights." 

    —Julian Schnabel     

    "In his gripping memoir, Chasing the Light, Oliver Stone continues to blaze with the light he did so often catch. Even though I already knew a bit how it turns out up to now, I found it hard to put the book down, as if he himself, in his struggles and defeats and victories, is the most intense of his own powerful films. It is utterly poignant today to follow his relentless pursuit of personal, artistic, and political freedom in constant confrontation with the still darkly looming forces of ignorance, selfishness, obsessive power, cruelty, and greed, forces that have brought us to today’s existential crises. His odyssey was especially thrilling for me, a long hidden witness of the struggle from my “ivory tower” of academia, to feel able to honor his front-line battles, seeing what had gone on behind the courageous exposēs I enjoyed so much at the time, forcing our national consciousness to face the atrocities of Salvador, the Vietnam of Platoon, the treason of JFK, the greed of Wall Street, and so many more great efforts to focus the light of conscience upon our national decadence. The battle for the soul of our ideal nation and the lasting beauty of our world is not won yet, of course, but this honest and passionate  account of one man’s determination inspires all of us who will never give up, as Oliver himself so clearly has not! Read it with delight and amazement, and keep after the light!" —Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor Emeritus of Indo-Tibetan Buddhology, Columbia University

    “Stone knows how to grab a viewing audience—and readers...Stone recounts his life of ups and downs well; besides being an accomplished screenwriter, he’s also a fine prose writer. To be continued? In the often tacky world of movie memoirs, Stone’s will stand out for its hard-earned insights, integrity, and grace.”—Kirkus Reviews 

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358345664

  • ISBN-10: 0358345669

  • Pages: 352

  • Price: $15.99

  • Publication Date: 07/21/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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