The cinema of assassination continues to flourish.
Variety reports that Cate Blanchett will star in feature film about the assassination of JFK called “Blackbird,” directed by David Mamet. The film joins Tom Hanks’ “Parkland” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Legacy of Secrecy” as coming big-screen interpretations of the tragedy in Dallas 50 years ago.
Based on the description in Variety, “Blackbird” sounds like “Argo” meets Oliver Stone:
“Blanchett plays Janet, who travels to Los Angeles for the funeral of her grandfather, a Hollywood visual effects artist who moonlighted for U.S. special ops agencies. Her grandfather’s well-kept secrets become a threat to her, forcing Janet to discover the truth about a man who dedicated his life to making illusion reality.”
But I wouldn’t hazard a guess how Mamet will portray JFK’s assassination. Mamet is not only a master of dialogue-driven stage classics “American Buffalo” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.” He is also a Hollywood veteran, most recently directing an HBO special sympathetic to music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector. And he is a born-again Hayekian liberal, meaning, in the American political context, a conservative.
In his book “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” Mamet rebels against the liberalism he once uncritically embraced by uncritically embracing a conservative creed with a strident, unvarying tone that could not be more different than the voices he brings to life on stage. As a polemicist, Mamet isn’t very interesting. As a screenwriter and playwright, he is often brilliant.
Which hat he will wear when he shoots his JFK film is anybody’s guess.