my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Comandante
Director:   Oliver Stone
Year:   2003
Genre:   Documentary
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   10.22.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (16)
- Alexander
- Born on the Fourth of July
- The Hand
- Heaven & Earth
- JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass
- Natural Born Killers
- Nixon
- Savages
- Seizure
- Snowden
- South of the Border
- Talk Radio
- W.
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
- World Trade Center

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
10.22.07Borrowed Stone's doc on his first meeting with Castro. It's very interesting to see Stone's style translated to documentary. I REALLY hope Pinkville is closer stylistically to Any Given Sunday or JFK than Alexander and World Trade Center. Honestly, I miss the bravery and individual authorship I usually associate with Stone's work that I feel is missing in his two latest features. Seeing this documentary reminded me of how strong that voice is.

The politics of it... eh... They are honestly not that important to me. What I liked much more was just seeing the man talk, demystifying the vague blanket of "Devil" that Castro seems to wear in this country (since before I was born). It was interesting to me to see that he has an office and eats lunch and all the other normal things every other person on earth does. Of course it's constructed in such a way (with much file footage and second-camera inserts of the man's hands and mannerisms) to make it entertaining and Stone including himself in the conversation rather than some unseen voice conducting talking-head interviews both lends a looser feel to the movie and informs us of his role in the conversation. I think since this is his first doc and he didn't go in with any preconcieved agenda or goal to steer towards, Stone's enemies have an easy time saying that he was flattered and hoodwinked into liking the man, which may or may not be true. Stone also takes the somewhat weakened stance of saying this is just an account of our meeting rather than positing some active purpose of the film, but within his self-confessed parameters I feel the film really succeeds. It gives a glimpse of the man "behind the beard" so to say and really nothing more. Since that was all I was looking for, it worked out well for me.

I'm now very interested in seeing his two other documentary efforts (Looking for Fidel, where he returns much more in the tough-questions grilling mode apparently, and Persona Non Grata which has something to do with Israel and Palestine) as I found this pretty interesting work. Hearing him speak the other week, Stone repeatedly painted himself as a dramatist rather than a journalist (often as a response to questions about movies being made today about the Iraq war. It's his opinion that you need time to sort everything out before you can come to any sort of greater truth about the event so the films being made today are really more documentary than anything else) so I wonder how successfull he feels his non-fiction work is (he also mentioned not thinking much of his horror efforts due to his unease with the genre) and if he'd be interested in making any more of them. I would think, with his cinematic history of research-heavy projects and explicit political beliefs that he'd do well.
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