NYFF Spotlight: Salvador
Posted by John Heavey on 9.23.2011
Why you should see it:
25 years after its original release, Oliver Stone’s Salvador still stands as a highly relevant political commentary and gripping action film. One of Stone’s first big theatrical releases, Salvador immediately established him as a filmmaker to watch. Based on the life of veteran photojournalist Rick Boyle, who for years covered Central American guerilla wars, Salvador delivers political provocation and moral contradiction while at the same time brimming with energy and excitement. With Oliver Stone on hand to introduce the film and discuss his work, this 25th Anniversary Screening is a must see!
Salvador was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Leading Role (James Woods) and Best Original Screenplay. James Wood won Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards, where the film had five additional nominations including Best Feature and Best Director.
About the Director:
Often heralded as one of the few true visionaries and artists still working in contemporary, mainstream cinema, Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary filmmaker. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on contemporary political and cultural issues, often controversially. Stone has won a host of awards including three Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay for Midnight Express (1978) and Best Director for Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
What the critics said:
Walter Goodman for The New York Times (1986): "'Salvador' has plenty of speed, grit and grime. The battles are forcefully fought in smoky confusion; the depredations of the death squads are carried out with casual brutality. The peasant towns, filmed in Mexico by Robert Richardson, exude dusty poverty. But Mr. Stone has more on his mind than action. Taking his cinematic as well as political lead from the work of Constantin Costa-Gavras, he offers an interpretation of history, laying blame on conservative forces in the United States for abetting the horrors in El Salvador."
What the NYFF programmers say:
"Salvador burst upon the American scene with a force that immediately established its director as a film artist to be reckoned with; the following twenty-five years of Oliver Stone’s career have certainly born out that promise, for few if any directors have so consistently produced works that have instantly become part of a national dialog about the American past, present and future."