With my Toronto Film Festival distractions and nobody talking about it since, I missed the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 9.14 announcement that the first three episodes of Oliver Stone‘s The Untold History of the United States will no longer screen at the 2011 New York Film Festival. I found it slightly bothersome that the reason given for the cancelleation was “scheduling conflicts.” Which of course conveys nothing and in fact blows smoke.

I don’t know what happened but you don’t announce a long-awaited film event at the NY Film Festival and then un-announce it unless some sudden and unanticipated force has intervened. Stone has been editing the Untold History series for a long, long time, and it’s no secret that the miniseries would be a political hot potato from Showtime. It was reported last summer that Untold has attracted some pro-Israeli venom.

I tried to get an answer earlier today about what really went down from both Stone and NY Film Festival co-honcho Scott Foundas…zip.

The three segments that were going to be shown would have focused “on the events leading up to America’s entrance into World War II, the war itself, and the unjustly forgotten figure of former U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace,” said a NYFF release.

The Untold screening would have been followed by a panel discussion featuring Stone, co-writer Peter Kuznick, historian Douglas Brinkley and The Nation‘s Jonathan Schell.

In place of the Untold History episodes, Stone will still apppear at NYFF to present a 25th Anniversary screening of Salvador.

Update: HE reader “reverent and free” has written in to say that “the three episodes in question were indeed ready because one of the researcher/writers, Eric Singer, attended a screening of them earlier this year and blogged about it on his website. But he seems to have removed the post now. I don’t have a screenshot unfortunately.”

Here’s an episode list from a posting last year.