Chasing the Light: How I Fought My Way into Hollywood – From the 1960s to Platoon
In this powerful and evocative memoir, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter, Oliver Stone, takes us right to the heart of what it’s like to make movies on the edge. In Chasing The Light he writes about his rarefied New York childhood, volunteering for combat, and his struggles and triumphs making such films as Platoon, Midnight Express, and Scarface. 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 taking miscellaneous jobs and driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life. Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with vivid details of the high and low moments: we sit at the table in meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July; relive the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine); experience his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface; and see his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino. We also learn of the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador; and witness tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award-winning film, Midnight Express. The culmination of the book is the extraordinarily vivid recreation of filming Platoon.