It's Gotta Be the Mustache
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Skirball Institute Film Series event featuring a screening of the 1969 French film Z, and a discussion of the film with Oliver Stone. The film was specifically chosen by Stone, as it was instrumental to his development as a filmmaker during his film school days at NYU.
While I'm not going to write up an entire review of the film, I highly encourage anyone interested in good movies to check it out. The winner of two Oscars (best foreign language film and best film editing), Z even managed to get nominated for the 1970 Best Picture Ocar, where it ultimately lost out to Midnight Cowboy. When you watch the film these accolades come as no surprise, as Z is one of the most intelligent yet highly entertaining political movies ever made.
The film itself is a barely fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Gregoris Lambrakis in 1963. As Wikipedia puts it, with "its satirical view of Greek politics, its dark sense of humor, and its chilling ending, the film captures a sense of outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time."
It sounds like pretty heavy subject matter and it is, but the filmmaker, Costa Gavras, handles the gravity of the events with a light touch, yet simultaneously manages to fiercely mock the fascist military junta then ruling
As for the discussion with Stone that followed, it was as weird as you might expect. Among the tidbits of knowledge that he dropped were that he doesn't believe Lee Harvey Oswald played a real role in the JFK assasination, that he misses Nixon because "at least Nixon had a conscience," and that he watched Wedding Crashers three times in the theaters. I'll let that last one slide, because if anyone should get a critical free pass, it's Oliver Stone. The guy was behind Platoon,
But most importantly, after watching Z, I noticed one fact that no one in the media has yet to pick up on. It seems the protagonist of Z, Jacques Perrin, and new Charlotte Bobcat Adam Morrison, might indeed be the same person. Take a closer look and then ask yourself, how well do you know Adam Morrison? Is his proclivity for crying nothing more than evidence of a sensitive and artistic Gallic film background? You decide.