After wrapping up filming on his latest project, “Wall Street 2,” film director Oliver Stone stopped by American University this week to talk to students taking a history course bearing his name. The course? Oliver Stone’s America.
The class addresses the nature and uses of historical evidence, and the shaping of popular historical consciousness while assessing both scholarly opinion and popular beliefs about the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War and antiwar movement, 1960s counterculture, Watergate, and 1980s capitalistic culture. Students taking the three-credit class watch Stone’s films including “JFK,” “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Nixon,” “Talk Radio,” “Wall Street,” and “Any Given Sunday.”
Stone visited the class in person for the first time in 1996. Each fall since Stone either visits in-person or interacts with students by conference call. Stone’s in-person visit on the last day of class came just in the nick of time as students were told that one of their final exam questions next week would be to define the common thread that runs through all of of Stone’s films. The professor asked Stone to give the students a hint. Stone’s reply: Think about opportunities.
Special thanks to Maralee Csellar.