UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Oliver Stone comes to UC Berkeley for filmmaking dialogue

– Academy Award-winning director and filmmaker Oliver Stone will discuss his recent epic movie, "Alexander," in relation to the scholarly pursuit of classics as part of "The College Presents," a free, public series of events hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's College of Letters & Science.

Stone will join Ralph Hexter, UC Berkeley dean of arts and humanities and professor of classics and comparative literature, at 7:30 p.m., March 14, in the campus's Wheeler Auditorium.

The dialogue will center on representing ancient history and society to a broad, modern audience. Stone will speak to the lure, concerns, challenges and responsibilities inherent in such the task of being a filmmaker. There will be opportunities for audience questions and interaction.

"Alexander" is based on the biography of one of history's most luminous and influential leaders - Alexander the Great - whose conquests changed the map of the ancient world and whose character made him a legend. A free screening of the film will be offered on Wednesday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m., also in Wheeler Auditorium.

Stone has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards as a screenwriter, director and producer, winning the Oscar three times, twice for directing ("Born on the Fourth of July" and "Platoon") and once for writing ("Midnight Express"). He has also received three Golden Globe Awards for directing ("Platoon," "Born On The Fourth Of July" and "JFK"), one for writing ("Midnight Express"), and was nominated for best director for "Natural Born Killers" and for co-writing "Nixon."

The New York-born Stone has worked as a school teacher in Vietnam, a Merchant Marine sailor in the Pacific, South East Asia and the Western United States, a taxi driver, a messenger, a production assistant, and a sales representative for a sports film company. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He was wounded twice and decorated with the Bronze Star for valor. After returning from Vietnam, he completed his undergraduate studies at New York University Film School in 1971.

He contributed essays on movies, culture, politics and history in the book "Oliver Stone's USA." His first novel, "A Child's Night Dream," based on Stone's experiences as a young man, was published in 1997 by St. Martin's Press.

The College of Letters & Science is the largest of 14 colleges and professional schools at UC Berkeley. It accounts for more than half the campus's faculty, three-quarters of its undergraduate students, and almost half of its Ph.D. students.

"The College Presents" highlights prominent scholars, scientists, thinkers, artists and leaders in many fields on topics of broad appeal. The first speaker in the series, Martin Goldsmith, discussed his 2002 book, "The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany."

"Our goal is for the series to feature influential thinkers addressing issues that are both provocative and relevant to the public," said Hexter, who also serves as the college's executive dean. "The College Presents offers the community an opportunity to sample the intellectual vitality, diversity and excellence of UC Berkeley's liberal arts college."