“Indian cinema inspires people’s desire to be flexible in life” – Oliver Stone

MUMBAI: Director Oliver Stone, who is in India to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th Mumbai Film Festival, says that Indian cinema inspires people’s desire to be flexible in life.

Stone, who will be conferred with the award on 28 October, tells Businessofcinema.com, “It is only in Indian movies that you can shift from a romantic comedy into a musical and into tragedy, all in the span of a single story, which symbolises life in general.”

Stone also finds the Indian film industry, the most prolific industry in the world. He said that he would love to make a film in India with Indian actors. “I was very interested in making City of Joy. But I guess I wasn’t as lucky as Danny Boyle or I would have made Slumdog Millionaire,” he added.

Stone’s film Alexander Revisited, which is a re-edited version of his 2004 film, Alexander, will have a special screening at the festival on 27 October.

Stone said, "The film has not been released anywhere except the US. The original was released in November 2004 after completing the shooting in March that year. I had wrapped up the film’s shooting in March 2004 and Warner wanted a November release. So I had to work on a very tight schedule and wasn’t able to do justice to the original screenplay. It fared poorly in English speaking countries, the overall box office collections was $150 million.”

However, Stone also feels that the chemistry among actors, timing and luck play a very important factor for a film. "Every film has its own destiny. Once it comes out, it stays on celluloid. Some movies are instant hits and some grow over a period," he said.

The new version Alexander Revisited is longer, at close to four hours. “The film has a complex subject and is among my most ambitious projects. I now want people to watch it the way I had envisioned it,” added Stone.

Alexander Revisited stars Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins and according to Stone, would have to be screened with an interval. “Just like they do with Indian films.”

Stone whose film Wall Street 2, released last month, has just finished shooting a TV documentary called, The Untold History of the United States. According to him, the 12-hour compilation, is meant for all the children, who never got to see what really happened in the history of United States. "I don’t agree with a lot of things that happened. Any war after the World War 2 is unjustifiable. I have explored a lot of topics in American politics," he added.

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