September 29, 2000 -- NEW YORK — At the Museum of Modern Art this week to introduce the director's cut of Any Given Sunday for the museum's mid-career retrospective, the never-speechless Oliver Stone managed to marvel how he'd come full circle.
"Back in 1969 through '71, while I was at NYU, I was a taxi driver at night and would come up to MOMA, where you knew you'd get good tips, to get fares after the parties," he said.
Stone couldn't know then that he'd become not only a two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker but also one of the most controversial and outspoken figures behind the camera.
Fifth Time's the Charm for Sunday The pugnacious director said that the version of Any Given Sunday that will go into MOMA's film collection is actually the fifth cut he's done.
"I had to rush to get the film out in time for football season last December," he explained. "Then, at the Berlin Film Festival, we premiered a shorter version for the European release. Then I did the airline version, taking out the language, and for the first time, I've cut the network version. With all of that fresh, I decided now was a good time to go back and make the 'definitive' version that runs 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Raunchy Scenes Restored "There's some raunchy stuff at the party scene" that got added back in, he said, almost apologetically, since his mother was in the theater, "and I've restored a scene for the Elizabeth Berkeley-Al Pacino relationship. I felt I cheated Elizabeth when we cut that."
Stone spoke of how opposed the NFL was to the film, especially regarding the depiction of the profanity and violence on the field. "It's funny," he mused, "but they seem to have added a lot of that to their coverage this season."
The league also disputed the film's depiction of the team doctor (James Woods), whose mission was to keep the players drugged and playing, regardless of their injuries.
Nixon Extras Stone also revealed that come January, Warner Bros. will release 10 of his films on DVD, including an expanded version of Nixon. "This is 20 minutes longer, and I think Tony Hopkins [who starred as the disgraced president] will be surprised," Stone said. "It has all the highs and lows, including a wonderful scene with Sam Waterston," of TV's Law & Order.
Stone noted that he's now rewriting his Beyond Borders film, which went through a number of leading ladies before landing the Oscar-winning Angelina Jolie.