Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday December 6, 2008

Oliver Stone stays controversial


KUALA LUMPUR: Controversial Hollywood director Oliver Stone was true to style when he attended the Global Brand Forum at the Palace of the Golden Horses hotel — he declared himself an anti-brand.

“I’m not a commercial director. People like (Hollywood producer) Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean series) or HBO or (producer) Joel Silver (of The Matrix trilogy fame) should be here today,” said 62 year-old Stone.

Sharing views: Stone listens as Mallika (left) speaks during the Global Brand Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

Nevertheless, the three-time Oscar winner understood and disclosed the essential quality when it comes to building a brand.

“A brand is about comfort. That’s why when people buy a fake brand product, they still like it because it makes them comfortable,” said Stone.

“I am the elusive brand. Oliver Stone — the anti brand,” said the decorated Vietnam-war veteran.

Stone also spoke about his latest film W, a brief biography about President George W. Bush and how he couldn’t miss the opportunity to direct such a film.

“I didn’t set out to direct a third movie about an American president (the other two being JFK and Nixon) but Bush in his eight years pushed extreme buttons and manipulated the media to further his cause. It is an amazing story,” he said.

Stone has directed such films as Platoon, Wall Street, Natural Born Killers and Alexan-der among others.

Stone later joined a panel discussion entitled Creating Brand Leadership in the Entertainment and Fashion Industry.

Also present at the event were Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat and Datuk Farah Khan, president of the Melium Group, with Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan as moderator.

Mallika spoke about her own trials as a Bollywood actress and how she managed to create her own brand.

“I was against the tide (in the Bollywood film industry) and did different things as an actress ... like kissing. My brand is rebelliousness,” she said.

Mallika is also plying her trade in Holly-wood and is starring in the film, Hisss, directed by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of famed director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr.) which is due for release next year.

And this is the problem she faces working in the Hollywood industry.

“To get the accent right is a struggle in Hollywood,” she said.

The Global Brand Forum is presented by the Media Prima Group and marks the first time that the forum was held in Malaysia.

The forum was held for two days — on Thursday and yesterday.

It featured speakers such as Jim Stengel, former global chief marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, celebrity heiress Ivanka Trump, Flickr website founder Stewart Butterfield and creative director of Shanghai Tang, Joanne Ooi among others.

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