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Director Oliver Stone on his new film subject: Russian President Vladimir Putin

• http://www.smh.com, Garry Maddox

Asked for his view of the Trump administration, the director of three movies about American presidents – JFK, Nixon and W. – responds diplomatically.

"I'd rather talk a little bit about film first," Stone says from Los Angeles ahead of his speaking trip to Australia next month. "Then we can segue to that.

"The headlines always peg me as a statesman or a politician or worse and I just like to remind people that I'm a dramatist, too. I tell stories."

Stone's towering, often bombastic career in American cinema includes 20 movies and a series of late career documentaries on political subjects. Along with success and failure on an operatic scale, he has won three Oscars with another eight nominations.

But despite fielding arguably more flak than any leading director in Hollywood, the 70-year-old continues to tackle controversial subjects.

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