A PLACE BEYOND THE SKY: a four-hour documentary mini-series chronicling the hitherto untold story of how the concept of human space exploration was sold and marketed to the American people, how support for the most audacious technological achievement in human history was sustained for the better part of a decade, and the battles that raged over it’s ultimate meaning and purpose. The film takes viewers a wild kaleidoscopic ride from the V2 rocket attacks on London in 1944 to Tranquility Base on the Moon in 1969. The film is currently in post-production and is slated for completion in 2018.
The atomic bomb and meltdowns like Fukushima have made nuclear power synonymous with global disaster. But what if we’ve got nuclear power wrong? An audience favorite at the Sundance Film Festival, PANDORA’S PROMISE asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process. Stone exposes this controversy within the environmental movement head-on with stories of defection by heavy weights including Stewart Brand, Richard Rhodes, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas and Michael Shellenberger. Undaunted and fearlessly independent, PANDORA’S PROMISE is a landmark work that is forever changing the conversation about the myths and science behind this deeply emotional and polarizing issue.
In March 1933, within weeks of his inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt sent legislation to Congress aimed at providing relief for one out of every four American workers who were unemployed. He proposed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation. Over the next decade, the CCC put more than three million youn men to work in the nations forest, parks, and farms: planting trees, creating flood barriers, fighting fires, and building roads and trails, Corps workers lived in camps under quasi-military discipline and received a wage of $30 per month, $25 of which they were required to send home to their families. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film interweaves rich archival imagery with the personal accounts of CCC veterans to tell the stoyr of one of the boldest and most popular New Deal experiments, positioning it as a pivotal moment in the emergence of modern environmentalism and national service.
It is now all the rage in the Age of Al Gore and Obama, but can you remember when everyone in America was not “Going Green”? Visually stunning, vastly entertaining and awe-inspiring, Earth Days looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement—from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s and the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s incendiary bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration and the subsequent firestorm of political action. Earth Days’ secret weapon is a one-two punch of personal testimony and rare archival media. The extraordinary stories of the era’s pioneers—among them Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; biologist/Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich; Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand; Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart; and renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins—are beautifully illustrated with an incredible array of footage from candy-colored Eisenhower–era tableaux to classic tear-jerking 1970s anti-litterbug PSAs. Earth Days is both a poetic meditation on humanity’s complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements—and missed opportunities of groundbreaking eco-activism.
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director, Writer
MICHAEL GIACCHINO: Music
DON KLESZY: Editor
COLL ANDERSON: Sound Design
HOWARD SHACK: Principal Cinematography
MARK SAMELS: Executive Producer
Featuring: Stewart Brand, Paul Ehrlich, Stewart Udall, Denis Hayes, Hunter Lovins, Rusty Schweickart, Stephanie Mills, Pete McCloskey, Dennis Meadows
“Earth Days” is a quietly majestic survey of the hard-won successes and instructive failures of the American environmental movement. Avoiding the alarmist tone characteristic of many ecologically themed documentaries, Robert Stone’s latest opus is a moving, elegiac, deeply contemplative work that leaves the viewer not with a save-the-world checklist, but rather a spirit of hopeful reflection.
Robert Stone’s Earth Days [is] a rapturous and enlightening testament to what the environmental movement has meant in America, and to why it now means more than ever. In Earth Days, he interviews many of the founders of the environmental movement, a tremendously engaged group of men and women who take us back to a time before the desire to conserve the planet carried leftist associations. Stone salutes the landmark that was Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller about the effects of chemical industry on nature, but his most galvanizing insight is the way that the first disseminated photograph of earth from outer space revolutionized people’s feelings about the planet’s smallness, majesty, and vulnerability. The movie documents how in the ’70s, “ecology” and anti-pollution activism blossomed into a mainstream Congressional issue, only to be demagogued in the Reagan era, reduced for the next three decades to a tree huggervs. – drill baby drill! debate. With the ascension of President Obama, that moment may finally have passed, and Earth Days couldn’t be more perfectly timed. It’s about truths that are no longer so inconvenient.
– ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 was to its era what the attacks of September 11 are to ours. What followed was a decade of political paranoia, unprecedented division of the American public, and accusations of governmental skulduggery. In the White House, a conspiratorially minded president threw the nation headlong into a divisive and unnecessary war in response, partly, to his own growing paranoia over the assassination of his predecessor.
For much of the public, Vietnam and the Kennedy assassination became merged psychologically into a vast wellspring of mistrust and disillusionment. With the subsequent assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968 and the revelations of President Nixon’s constitutional subversion in the early 1970s, the last hopes of American idealism were shattered. A decade after JFK’s death, America’s political culture was changed almost beyond recognition.
With Oswald’s Ghost, director Robert Stone offers an unprecedented deconstruction of the mythologies and controversy surrounding what is perhaps the most tangled and far-reaching murder mystery of all time. Featuring interviews with authors Norman Mailer and Edward J. Epstein, politician Gary Hart, activist Tom Hayden, attorney Mark Lane, and others, the 90-minute film probes the deep psychic wounds inflicted by the Kennedy assassination on American politics and culture, the scars of which remain evident to this day.
Using a wealth of archival material, much of it never before publicly seen or heard, Stone chronicles America’s forty-year obsession with the pivotal event of a generation. Quietly implicit throughout the film is a haunting parallel to 9/11 and its aftermath.
Website: www.oswaldsghost.com | Theatrical Trailer | Photographs | DVDPrincipal Credits:
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director, Writer, Editor
DON KLESZY: Editor
GARY LIONELLI: Music
HOWARD SHACK: Principal Cinematography
COLL ANDERSON: Sound Design
MARK SAMELS: Executive Producer
NICK FRASER: Executive Producer
Featuring: Norman Mailer, Gary Hart, Tom Hayden, Todd Gitlin, Edward Jay Epstein, Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla McMillan, Josiah Thompson, Robert Dallek, Mark Lane
Hollywood Vietnam is a one hour documentary for AMC. The film looks at how the Vietnam War has been depicted in American Hollywood cinema with a particular focus on the interpretation of these films by Vietnam veterans. Includes interviews with Senator Max Cleland, Senator Chuck Hagel, Ron Kovic, John Milius, Mathew Modine and others.
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director
NELSON HUME: Cameraman
PHILIP HOLAHAN: Camerman
CHRIS HARVEY: Editor
ADAM & CHARLIE ROTH: Music
Guerrilla is an unprecedented account of the Symbionese Liberation Army, arguably the most notorious and flamboyant domestic terrorist group in American history. Dedicated to the rights of black prisoners and the working class, the SLA set forth in 1973 to incite the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government. Their audacious kidnapping of teenage newspaper heiress Patty Hearst – who eventually joined them – inspired a media frenzy. Every detail of their descent into the surreal outer limits of political extremism was played out in public, a spectacle foreshadowing some of the worst excesses of modern TV journalism. Thirty years later, the SLA’s extraordinary two-year crime spree resonates as a timely parable of political ideology run amok, the role of the media in America – mouthpiece? messenger? truth-seeker? – and the romantic fantasies that define modern political terrorism.
American Babylon follows a transforming month in the life of detective Jeff Fauntleroy, a black Atlantic City vice cop who believes he’s on a mission from God. Shot entirely in hand-held cinema-verité style, with an original jazz score, American Babylon takes viewers through the town’s nether world of dealers, rappers, and crooks as Jeff struggles to save his own soul and the soul of his community. Charismatic, wise-cracking and battle-scarred, thirty-eight year-old Jeff Fauntleroy is a family man who lifted himself out of the Atlantic City ghetto by becoming a police officer. With his sometime partner, detective Lonell Jones, Jeff works this resort’s drug-infested backwater, a place he calls the ‘devil’s dungeon’. Day to day, it’s a culture of have-nots seduced by the casino’s get-rich-quick promises and Jeff and Lonell have lived through more than their share of bloodshed. But during this years’ Miss America Pageant, a series of violent, bizarre events converge, transforming Jeff from hard-charging super-cop to his new incarnation as a Baptist minister with a badge. Set in the shadows of glittering hotels and world-class casinos, American Babylon tells a story of rich and poor, black and white, and the dark side of the American dream.
“Robert Stone’s splendid documentary… is a timely reminder that there are good, and in some instances extraordinary policeman everywhere. Fauntleroy is a genuine American hero. Its raw edginess is a good fit for the environment it explores.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES
“A must-see. A gritty but gripping film.”
– PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE
“In a manner strongly recalling the Maysles brothers’ masterpiece “Salesman,” Stone’s hand-held camera… is suitably grainy and mobile, handled by Stone as his own operator with mucho courage in the tough hoods.”
World War Three is a fake historical documentary which imagines a worst-case scenario of how the Cold War might have ended had history taken a different course. Employing a massive amount of archival imagery from military training films from both East and West, fake news reports, fake interviews, public statements by real historical figures (Bush, Thatcher, Kohl, etc.) and a wide variety of other original and archival material, it is a film unlike any other, both in its making and in its use of true pictures to illustrate an alternative vision of the past. Presented as if it where actually true and involving the actual political leaders of the time, World War Three makes real the ultimate horror of the Cold War, blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Two and a half years in the making, this international co-production was developed in consultation with military advisors from both NATO and the former Soviet Union. It is a realistic exploration of what might have been as it was imagined by those who were trained to fight World War Three.
“This audacious enterprise from Robert Stone is a departure from Discovery’s usual rather stolid fair. Strangely believable, this is a remarkable exercise in original film-making and one that any channel would be proud to show.”
– TIME OUT – LONDON
“One of the most breathtaking television programs in recent years. The result is a truly ingenious forgery which shows realistically what we were spared of.”
– KLEINE ZEITUNG, GRAZ
“Exciting and brilliantly directed just like a Hollywood thriller. Yet everything is fictitious.”
– KOLNER EXPRESS
Farewell Good Brothers is an off-beat, irreverent and often hilarious portrait of a few people who, back in the 1950’s, claimed to have been contacted friendly visitors from the planet Venus. Theirs is a world of mysterious government conspiracies, strange religious rites and unbelievable close encounters; a world inhabited by an assortment of charlatans, true believers, Christian fundamentalists, and messianic cults. Through contemporary interviews and a wide assortment of unusual archival imagery, the film examines the role of these so-called ‘Contactees’ in pioneering much of contemporary Flying Saucer mythology. With it’s emphasis on the political and religious motivations of these people and it’s visual depiction of their beliefs, FAREWELL, GOOD BROTHERS is unique in both style and content.
Farewell Good Brothers was digitally re-mastered to HD and enhanced with new graphics and effects and a new original score. The work was completed by Robert Stone Productions in October 2007.
Produced for the PBS history series ‘American Experience,’ The Satellite Sky unfolds without narration or interviews to paint an impressionistic portrait of the dawn of the Space Age. The film sheds new light on how the race to the moon was an outgrowth of the Cold War military rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Space Race became perhaps the most perfect expression of this rivalry: the ultimate propaganda vehicle for projecting the superiority of one society of the other. Plans for orbiting battle stations, trips to the moon, Mars and beyond, and the creation of state-sponsored heroes (spacemen) were all part of the panorama of the time. Using obscure archival material from a wide variety of sources including Soviet and American science fiction films, government propaganda films, US Air Force films, newsreels, NASA footage and old television shows, The Satellite Sky takes an ironic look at the imagery of the space age and examines the race as it was seen at the time. Unlike virtually ever other film that has been made on this subject, The Satellite Sky asks the question, why?. Part of the answer can be found on the night of October 4, 1957, the night Sputnik first appeared in the skies over America, the night the space age began. It was believed at the time that whoever controlled space would control the planet. What followed is one of the great dramas of our time, of which The Satellite Sky is a thoroughly unique portrait.
The Satellite Sky was digitally re-mastered and enhanced with new graphics and effects and a new original score. The work was completed by Robert Stone Productions in October 2007.
Radio Bikini is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning (and Oscar nominated) documentary film about the greatest operation to test nuclear weapons ever conducted by the United States. Staged at a remote Pacific atoll called Bikini in the summer of 1946, the tests (code-named Operation Crossroads) were also one of the first great ‘media events’ of the modern age. Using rare and mostly never-before-seen archival footage, the film unfolds through the eyes of the elderly chief of the Bikinians, Kilon Bauno, and a former American serviceman, John Smitherman, who was there. Radio Bikini combines ‘live’ radio broadcasts from Bikini in 1946 with footage of the entire operation, recreating a feeling of the event as it happened in a way that is both haunting and surreal. As the drama of this bizarre experiment unfolds, we witness glimpses of the U.S. Government’s never-completed attempt to produce a propaganda film about it. Ultimately, RADIO BIKINI is an allegorical portrait of a naive world at the dawn of a new era.
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director, Editor, Cameraman
MARGARET CRIMMINS: Sound Design
ROBERT FITZSIMONS: Music
“an outstanding achievement on all levels… an extraordinarily perceptive, haunting and informative documentary. It presents itself with quiet conviction but its under-lying passion burns in our minds and souls… an enviable artistic contribution.”
– Los Angeles Times
“a terrific documentary… brilliantly edited. What is so wonderful and tragic about this film are its real-life Dr. Strangelove-like ironies. ‘PICK OF THE WEEK’.”
– L.A. Weekly
“a remarkable documentary collage… The awesome beauty of the explosions – not even Busby Berkeley could have managed it better.”
– London Times