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A Film and its Era: Wall Street (Oliver Stone)

Oliver Stone

Released in 1987, "Wall Street" is Oliver Stone's fifth feature film. This is the first fiction film to depict in such a widely documented way the American world of high finance at the time of the great deregulation during Reagan’s presidency. Oliver Stone tells the rise and fall of Bud Fox, one of the "golden boys" who thrived on Wall Street and elsewhere during that period. Ambitious, cynical, willing to do anything to make more money, Bud Fox lands a job with Gordon Gekko, one of Wall Street’s most implacable speculators. But the mechanism he has fallen into will be fatal.
Rémi Lainé's documentary film "Once upon a time ... Wall Street", the 43rd in the "A film and its era" collection created by Marie Genin and Serge July, recounts the in-depth investigation Oliver Stone and his screenwriter Stanley Weiser conducted in the realm of the New York Stock Exchange to make this film. It shows how they drew their inspirations from real people who for good or bad reasons made the national news. This documentary also tells why Oliver Stone wished to pay tribute to his father: a Wall Street broker who symbolized an endangered financial world where loyalty and general interest prevailed.
Through a series of unpublished interviews, including with Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas, the documentary highlights the astonishing destiny of the film. A cult film, "Wall Street" is considered a classic today. The exposure of the financial industry mechanisms set in place in the 1980s has not aged a bit. It has even proved premonitory of the repeated crises generated by such a system, be it the crash of October 1987, just before the release of the film, or the 2008 subprime crisis.  But most of all, Rémi Lainé and Serge July's documentary shows how Oliver Stone's film, which claims to denunciate the financial sharks, has had the opposite effect: Gordon Gekko, the predator, became an icon for generations of traders, bankers and investors, to the point that his famous tirade on the huge virtues of greed - "greed is good – was used word for word by the former President of the United States, Donald Trump.


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54 mins
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