Oliver Stone plays journalist again – video included

Okay, first of all, Machetera’s not a fan.  Oliver Stone’s films have always struck her as unsubtle, and she hated Comandante, which oddly, puts her in the same camp as the gusanos who thought it was so dangerous that it ought not to be shown in the U.S. at all, and forced Stone to return to Havana to film an addendum, which they liked even less (but so did Machetera, although surely for different reasons).  It’s not just that she had to go through all kinds of terrible contortions just to view it (buying it on Amazon.uk for heaven’s sake and then sacrificing one of the four lifetime chances to change the country code on the computer in order to see the forbidden piece of junk), but that after all of that she couldn’t even sit through the whole thing.  Slow is an understatement.

Just as it took the insertion of Quentin Tarantino into Pulp Fiction for Machetera to appreciate John Travolta’s singular acting genius (nothing reveals that so well as a non-actor interacting with a real one), Stone’s self-insertion as “journalist” reveals a similar problem.  He’s not a journalist, but he’s not an actor either, so it doesn’t work very well when he tries to play one.  It’s easy to understand why our friends down south cooperated with him on the making of the film – the question is whether Stone’s insufferable attitude will drown the message.  Honestly, he’s torture to watch.

All right…how does Machetera know South of the Border won’t be any better?  It hasn’t even been released.  Well, there’s one rather unpromising indicator:  Stone can’t even pronounce “Chávez.”  Shehvéz?  Please.  Is Stone’s crew so afraid of him that nobody could pipe up to tell him the accents are there for a reason? Or do they derive some secret pleasure from watching Stone make a fool of himself?  Anything’s possible.

Say it…Chá chá chá Vez (like pez, just with a v).  It’s not that hard!

8 responses to “Oliver Stone plays journalist again – video included

  1. “…nothing reveals that so well as a non-actor interacting with a real one..”


    Glenn Close and Mel Gibson in Hamlet (“To be or not to be…strewth, how the fuck should I know, mate?”)

    Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas in Zorro (twas painful)

    Malkovich and Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons (and Glenn Close doubling down on her, for that matter)

    Not forgetting Patrick Stewart versus the whole freakin’ cast of Star Trek.

  2. I enjoyed this trailer and I think it will be a good movie. Please consider the context within which this movie arrives.

    I think it is insufficient to judge the quality of a person’s ideas substantially based on the quality of their speaking a second language. It is obviously annoying that any Spanish Oliver Stone speaks is done with a thick accent.

    However, I would not criticize Fidel’s ideas simply because his English seems heavily accented to me.

    Please consider what is available to most mainstream voters living in a heavily censored, extreme right wing US environment, force fed a daily diet of hatred by rage radio and the corporate media of predatory capitalism.

    This film clearly uses the mechanism of “social proof” to enhance the prestige and persuasiveness of Hugo Chavez.

    Americans are trained to hate and spew venom at Chavez but to fondle IMF servants such as Lula and Bachelet. By clearly showing that President Chavez is not alone in his quest for a more rational planet, but shares that stage with Lula, Bachelet and others will only serve to penetrate into the American consciousness the notion that perhaps a war with Venezuela is unwise.

    In that sense, in the presence of the profound war hysteria being whipped up in the rest of the readily-available English language media for brainwashed Americans, I applaud both this effort and this film.

    • Dear Matt,

      I’m not judging the quality of Oliver Stone’s ideas (although I know that capitalism has been bery bery good to him so, like Michael Moore, I wouldn’t expect his investigation to go very deep – speaking of which, that reminds me about another translation about Michael that I need to post. Anyway as the Cubans would say, it’s a matter of “yanking the chain but not the monkey.”) I’m not even judging Stone’s ability to speak Spanish – if I judged people on the basis of their ability to speak more than one language I would find myself quite a lonely person. I think it is a fair criticism however, to say that if you are making a movie centered around Hugo Chávez, you should at least learn to say his name.

  3. As a friend of mine said to me “South of What Border?”, as the only thing N of Caracas is Isla Margarita an a couple of very, very large buckets of seawater. Yes indeed, even in the reactionary, dare i say liberal, world of Stone the whole caboodle revolves around the lower 48. The premise that “the border” has to be the USA and we can just skip over a few C.Am countries and get to the point looks all set to launch us into another Stone journey of the banal.

    Point is that I really don’t give a fig anymore about any judgment handed to us down here by them up there. Be anti, be pro, be neutral…..it doesn’t matter. The USA’s opinion on other sovereign states only matters when it comes equipped with either bootloads of dollars or high explosives dropped from aircraft.

  4. Otto, the US does have a lot of guns that are loaded and pointed at the rest of the world. And they continue to use them without reason.

    As such, I think their conduct bears watching.

    I don’t support insane people. But when they are heavily armed and in a downward spiral, I do tend to pay attention.

  5. Here is a short post I made to my Artistas Caribe blog about this movie.

    “Pues, lo siento sobre mi Espanol, tratando apprenderla.

    Sabes que Vladimir Lenin decia que el cine es una forma de propaganda mas
    importa como cada otro, y los cines de Dziga Vertov y Michael Moore, y Oliver
    Stone lo prueba certainamente. Y Fidel nos decia que sin propaganda es imposible
    tener un movimiento popular, y sin un movimiento popular es imposible tener un
    Revolucion. Entonces, propaganda effectivo es el calle por nuestro pueblo
    atravasar hasta un otro mundo necessario y mas lindo por nuestro nietos.

    Entonces mi immersion en el mundo de cine.

    En siglo No. 19, recuerdas que las formas propaganda estaban principalmente en
    libros; los novellos de Charles Dickens estaban muy importa en la causa removar
    al chasm entre los classes en el Revolucion Industrial en Londres en 1840, con
    sus libros como Great Expectations, Oliver Twist y mas. Y por supuesto los
    escritos del Karl Marx estaban un temblor del mundo politico.

    Pero ahora vivimos en el mundo nuevo de video; television, el cine, YouTube y
    mas. El canal primero ahora transmitar las cosas del revolucion, sinceramente
    creo, estara en la forma del videos y el cine mas como los libros. Y este
    pelicula de Oliver Stone, South of the Border es un otro paso en este processo.

    Unfortunamente o no, es necessario reconocer esta realidad objectivo en nuestro
    guerra de los ideas.”

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