This photo, taken about 30 seconds after the assassination of JFK, shows a Dallas policeman running toward the so-called “grassy knoll” where two young black people were having lunch.
A half-century ago, two young black people in Dallas found themselves eyewitnesses to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — yet their voices have never been heard. Indeed, a half century later, even their names are unknown.
This young man and woman were sitting on the spot famously dubbed “the grassy knoll” on November 22, 1963. They had a front row seat for a key moment in 20th century U.S. history: the murder of a popular liberal president.
Hollywood’s cinema of assssination, as inspired by the death of JFK, takes two different forms: conspiratorial and sociopathic. Both will be on display at a multiplex near you later this year if and when Tom Hanks’s “Parkland” and Leonardo di Caprio’s “Legacy of Secrecy” open. Hanks’s hospital drama will depict JFK as the victim of a lone sociopath while DiCaprio’s mob flick will likely finger Carlos Marcello and other organized crime bosses.
Despite a big budget and a host of A-list actors, Tom Hanks’s JFK flick “Parkland” proved to be a dud, As I wrote here last year, “The fact that the movie tanked at the box office and puzzled critics indicated its presentation of JFK’s murder as a fairly ordinary homicide in Texas had no resonance, even with elite media organizations imbued with a cultural affinity for the lone gunman theory.
But the story of the forces behind the making of the movie, explored in James DiEugenio’s book “Reclaiming Parkland,” is an in-depth tale of the collusive culture-making machinery of Hollywood and major news organizations.
The assassination of President Kennedy was, among other things, a seminal event in the history of mediated imagery.
From the moment Abraham Zapruder captured the gunfire that killed the president to Olvier Stone’s 1991 hit “JFK”, to the present when Hollywood still seek to explore, exploit, and explain November 22, 1963, projected film has been a key–perhaps the key–to the way we visualize and understand JFK’s death. Read more
Tom Hanks’s JFK feature film, “Parkland,” premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday. The movie, starring Paul Giamatti and Zac Efron, is “not out to pick a fight” over conspiracy theories,” says director Peter Landesman.
The problem, says one early review, is that the film starts out “tense and stirring,” only to slide into “TV movie solemnity” and, worse yet, “camp.”
Here come snapshots from Tom Hanks’s upcoming JFK flick, courtesy of the Hollywood blog, Rope of Silicon.
Among the star-studded cast, Paul Giamatti plays Abraham Zapruder, the Dallas dressmaker who filmed the fatal motorcade. It sure looks like the movie will replicate the look of 1963 with the panache of “Mad Men.”
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:
One dissenter from the Warren Commission was Winston Scott, the powerful chief of the CIA’s Mexico City station in 1963.
Our Man in Mexico tells his story. There is no theory in Jefferson Morley’s critically-acclaimed biography, just the compelling life story of a decorated CIA spymaster who knew that a key claim in the Warren Commission report was false--and dared to say so.