Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oliver Stone, Modern Film and "Any Given Sunday"

Olive Stone led a distinguished career, writing many critically acclaimed hits that did well in the box office. Then he came upon "Any Given Sunday," he synthesized the screenplay from 3 different sources.. Stone used the movie to send off Hollywood, he gave it a million different cuts to produce quite the jarring effect. The point was how Hollywood was putting sensory stimulation and box office receipts ahead of quality.

What was the result?

Other than "Platoon," "Any Given Sunday" was Stone's largest hit, outgrossing all other movies he made by at least $5 million. His other movies were thought-provoking, careful and tediously researched dramas. Movies such as JFK allowed us to get into the heads and psychology of its main characters.

Why did "Any Given Sunday" Outperform them All?

 Sure, thought-provoking movies which tell us something about our characters' main conscious motives are great, but they miss out on the fact that most of our decisions occur on the subsconscious level. A movie that hits you in the head with cuts provides more feed for our subconscious mind.

At one point in the movie, Stone goes in a radically different direction. He adds a scene where Al Pacino, who plays the coach in the movie, gives an emotional and slow 4 minute speech. This provides us a conscious view of a character who we have mostly seen in a subconscious light. The speech may be so popular and so rememborable precisely because it was so different from the rest of the movie. We now had both our feed for the conscious and the subconscious level we were hoping for.

One inch at a time.