Despair, lack of hope pervades in Asian cinema: Oliver Stone

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Oct 17, 2017 - 19:51
  • Updated : Oct 17, 2017 - 19:51
Director Oliver Stone met with reporters Tuesday at the Busan Cinema Center to discuss his impression of Korean cinema’s current mood.

Stone commented on the jury’s review of the New Currents category, of which he is head juror this year.

“The jury saw ten films and I have to say we commented last night and made our choices which will be announced Saturday night. The whole jury commented on the despair and lack of hope that was evident in the ten films we saw, from not only Korea but China, Taiwan, Iran. It’s amazing to see new generation so pessimistic.

“The films were excellent, many were superb, as good as anything I could do, certainly now. ... But the despair concerns us and should (concern) all of us, as if the world is hurtling toward apocalypse.”

Oliver Stone attends a press conference at the Busan Cinema Center Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The sense of despair is evident in international cinema, he said. “There is a sense of dystopia and displacement all throughout the world.”

The differences between American and Asian cinema were also marked, he said.

“Asian cinema is still dealing with everyday life and the struggles of survival. ... Americans nowadays are interested in fantasy -- fantasy realism, fantasy football, fantasy everything.”

The prolific director has directed movies such as 1994’s “Natural Born Killers,” 1995’s “Nixon” and 2016’s “Snowden.”

Stone once again stressed his concerns about American relations to other countries. “It’s an aggressive world policed by the US. … This is not to condone Mr. Kim Jung-eun, but Russia and China need to be invited to talks. There is no military option in my opinion but I fear that Mr. Trump is considering one.”

Stone commented on a recent Korean film he saw, director Kim Sung-hoon’s “Confidential Assignment.”

“It showed the contrast between the two cops and countries, how movies can soften situations and make things better between people. Movies are fundamentally a method of bringing peace and exchanging ideas.”

Stone did not address the responses to his remarks during a press conference here last Friday concerning a Hollywood scandal involving producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women.

Stone had said that he is unacquainted with Weinstein and that the issue should be settled in court.

He subsequently posted a statement on Facebook saying: “I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape.”

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)