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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2012. 60th Edition  > Festival Diary > A new level of violence that makes The Godfather seem old hat
Festival Diary » SAVAGES
A new level of violence that makes The Godfather seem old hat
Monday, September 24th, 2012

At the press conference he gave alongside actors Benicio del Toro and John Travolta yesterday afternoon to talk about their film Savages, Oliver Stone admitted that it gave him special pleasure to be receiving the Special 60th Anniversary Award. He had great memories of when he first came here to present Salvador at the Velodrome before an audience of 3000 people and he loved everything about the place: “I might even come here to retire” he joked.

John Travolta expressed similar sentiments when asked about being presented with a Donostia Award this year. “When a group of people get together to give you an award, all you can do is to celebrate it.”

Both Travolta and Del Toro escribed what a fabulous experience it had been working with Stone who Del Toro considered to be “a maestro, one of those filmmakers who are genuinely groundbreaking.”

As for the graphic violence in Savages, Stone stressed how there was a new level of brutality in the war against the Mexican cartels that went way beyond old-style Mafia bloodshed. Travolta agreed with him that there used to be a moral code with the old Mafia that meant that women and children were spared when it came to taking reprisals, but that nowadays, “anything goes.”

Stone also took the opportunity to speak out in favour of the legalization of marijuana, and he was especially critical of his government in the war on drugs. “After 42 years drugs are cheaper and there are more of them than ever.” He felt that the US used the war to spy on others and to militarise their governments, and was especially critical of George Bush, who he was sure would go down in history as one of the worst in history.

Looking back over his career, John Travolta had warm words for Quentin Tarantino, who had revived his career in the 1990s when it was in the doldrums with Pulp Fiction, as well as for Brian de Palma, who discovered him in Carrie, and with whom he later worked on Blowout, both amazing experiences for the actor.



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