Oliver Stone’s Short Film: Last Year in Viet Nam
One of Oliver Stone’s first films, Last Year in Viet Nam presents part of his personal experiences after coming back as a war veteran from the Vietnam war, trying to cope with terrible memories from the front and the recurring sensation of isolation, anguish, and alienation he felt while living in New York, still uncertain of what to do with his life.
I would also recommend Oliver’s amazing book Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game.
Before the international success of Platoon in 1986, Oliver Stone had been wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam and spent years writing unproduced scripts while driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life.
Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with in-the-moment details of the high and low moments: We see meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July; the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine); his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface; his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino; the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador; and tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award-winning film, Midnight Express.
Chasing the Light is a true insider’s look at Hollywood’s years of upheaval in the 1970s and ’80s.
WATCH Filmtrepreneur’s Micro-Budget First Films Collection
- Christopher Nolan: Doodlebug & The Following
- Quentin Tarantino: My Best Friend’s Birthday
- Neill Blomkamp’s Micro-Budget First Film: Alive in Joburg
- The Coen Brothers’ Micro-Budget Short Film: World Cinema
- The Coen Brothers’ Short Film: Tuileries (Paris, je t’aime)
- Guillermo Del Toro’s Micro-Budget First Film: Geometria
- James Cameron’s Micro-Budget First Film: Xenogenesis
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Micro-Budget Short Film: Cigarettes & Coffee
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Micro-Budget First Film: The Dirk Diggler Story
- George Lucas’ Micro-Budget Short Film: Filmmaker – A Diary by George Lucas
- Wes Anderson’s Micro-Budget First Film: Bottle Rocket
- Tim Burton’s First Short Films: Vincent and Frankenweenie
- Tim Burton’s Short Film: Hansel and Gretel
- Martin Scorsese’s Micro-Budget Short Film: The Big Shave