Oliver Stone
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Platoon (1986) is a war movie that mainly explores the psychology of fear. The movie is too long and stereotyped. Taylor is a soldier in the American army, one of the many in the Vietnamese invasion. He is stressed, disappointed, disgusted. The long and exhausting treks in the jungle, the continuous sights of death, the suspense that reigns over their every move, the arguments between soldiers, are taking a toll on his psyche.
The platoon is run by a rude but effective sergeant with a scar, Barnes, who often does not even consult with the commander. The only one who doesn't take orders from him is Elias, an experience and much more humane soldier. Barnes takes a few of the soldier with him for a mission in the jungle. Taylor is inexperienced and not very motivated. When the Vietnamese attack the camp, he is petrified and almost lets them surprise everybody. He gets a little scratch and almost faints.
Back to the barracks, he is assigned to humble chores, is initiated to drugs by Elias. Again in the jungle, they find one of them tortured by the vietnamese. Elias behaves like a native of the jungle. Later they stumble into a village. The Americans terrorize the peasants. Even Taylor loses his temper and terrorizes a young man who was hiding. The kid is half blind. Taylor breaks down. Another soldier smashes the skull of the kid and then jokes about it. The evil Barnes is interrogating a man when the wife intervenes and starts shouting. Barnes shoots her. The daughter of the dead woman starts screaming. Barnes grabs the child and threatens to shoot her too if the man does not talk. Elias arrives just in time and jumps on Barnes. The two fight like animals until the commander stops them and commands them to burn the village. The Americans leave the smoking ruins of the village. Back to the barracks, Elias wants Barnes courtmartialed, but the matter is postponed by the superiors. The groups splits in two: the animals who side with Barnes, and the humans who side with Elias.
The platoon falls in an ambush. The casualties are heavy and it rains. Taylor gets carried away. Elias is leading the charge. Barnes orders Taylor and the others to withdraw and promises to alert Elias. Elias is alone fighting the enemy like a lion, and Barnes is following him. Barnes shoots Elias who is smiling at him. Taylor, who sensed trouble, arrives too late: Barnes tells him that Elias is dead and that they have to leave. Everybody leaves on the helicopters, but as they are taking off they see one of their man running, chased by the vietnamese: it's Elias, still alive, who would have escaped if they had not taken off. Taylor tells the other soldiers what happened, that Barnes is responsible for Elias' death.
Then the real battle erupts. The vietcong overrun the Americans and massacre almost all of them. Even in the middle of the battle, Barnes proves to be an animal and almost kills Taylor. The Americans bomb the area to stop the advance of the vietcongs, and this saves Taylor's life. When he comes to life again, he is surrounded by corpses. He wanders through the mass of corpses until he finds Barnes, wounded but still alive. Taylor executes Barnes in cold blood. Taylor is one of the few survivors, is rescued by a patrol and is transported to a military hospital.
The villagers are petrified.
Taylor witnessed senseless acts of cruelty against unarmed peasants, but, more telling, the indifference of the soldiers.
The two sergeants represent two different views of war. One is a crusader, an idealist who knows what the war is all about; the other is "reality", as he puts it: war's real face is an animal fight for survival and domination.
The vietcongs, whom would be the true enemies, remain anonymous, reduced to natural catastrophe, like the rains and the snakes. The true enemies, the ones with a face and a name, are within the platoon itself. It is within the platoon that the real war is fought, between a meaning of life and another.

Wall Street (USA 1987) e` ambientato nel mondo della borsa ed e` un atto d'accusa nei confronti del materialismo esasperato.

Un giovane e ambizioso stockbroker lotta quotidianamente per farsi largo nella giungla di Wall Street. Suo padre e` tutto l'opposto, operaio sindacalista di un'aviolinea, uomo di vecchio stampo, tutto principi e moralita`. Il suo problema maggiore e` un potente miliardario. Questi e` un cinico che usa ogni mezzo, legale e non, per arricchirsi. Il ragazzo si lascia sedurre e accetta di diventare il suo braccio destro, coinvolto in tutte le sue amorali imprese. Nel frattempo si invaghisce di una splendida bionda e con lei sogna di un futuro libero dalla schiavitu` del suo lavoro. Lei non gli dice di essere stata l'amante del miliardario. Il ragazzo convince il padre a presenziare un meeting in cui il miliardario propone di salvare l'aviolinea a modo suo. Tutti sembrano entusiasti, meno il padre del ragazzo, che si mette a ridere e se ne va sbattendo la porta. Il ragazzo inveisce contro la sua testardaggine, ma suo padre ha a cuore il futuro degli impiegati di quella aviolinea e non i piani di espansione del miliardario. Il giorno dopo il ragazzo si rende conto della verita`: il miliardario vuole liquidare l'aviolinea e ovviamente non gli importa nulla delle persone che ci lavorano. Il ragazzo e` colto finalmente da una crisi esistenziale e manda al diavolo anche la bionda, che e` piu` fedele al miliardario che a lui. Intanto la polizia ha iniziato indagini sui loschi giri di denaro del miliardario e dei suoi collaboratori. Il padre ha un attacco cardiaco e cio` completa la trasformazione del ragazzo da avido businessman a rivoluzionario populista. Il ragazzo escogita un piano per salvare l'aviolinea facendo crollare le sue azioni e poi facendole comprare da un altro finanziere. Il miliardario perde una fortuna e l'aviolinea e` salva. La polizia arresta il ragazzo e gli offre come via d'uscita di aiutarli a incastrare il miliardario. Il ragazzo va a un appuntamento con il miliardario. Il miliardario lo picchia e insulta, gli rinfaccia di averlo creato dal nulla. Il ragazzo lascia fare: ha addosso un registratore che mandera` in galera il miliardario.
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