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Oliver Stone Blogathon-JFK

September 18, 2013


The assassination of  John Fitzgerald Kennedy, has been one of the most discussed topics in American history, and also I guess, has spawned the maximum number of conspiracy theories. In a country where people still believe that the earth is flat and the moon landing was a hoax, JFK’s  assassination, naturally has had it’s own conspiracy theories, with culprits ranging from Edgar Hoover to the KGB to Kruschev to CIA to the Mafia. Considering that controversy has often been Oliver Stone’s middle name, it was bound to be combustible, when he took on the task of making a movie about JFK, through the testimony of  New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. And true to form, JFK has ended up being a vastly polarizing movie, with strident critics dubbing it as “Dances With Facts”, a snide take off on Costner’s Oscar winning Western.  Edward Copeland in an excellent piece on JFK ,   examines how Stone’s movie, while good in many parts, suffers from poor writing at many places, as also Costner’s not too great performance. In his own words.

Growing up though with the history of the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations ingrained in our brains shortened our attention span of shock when John Lennon, Reagan and Pope John Paul II encountered bullets in a period of just a few months. The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger seemed to affect us for only an hour or two instead of the lifelong effect JFK’s assassination had on an earlier generation.  Personally, I don’t know if I buy the revamped Garrison theory that Stone offers. I don’t see how anyone can believe Oswald acted alone or all the shots came from behind — watching the Zapruder film enlarged on the big screen makes the “back and to the left” motion of Kennedy’s head unmistakable. However, Stone can’t quite pull off the idea that the reason Kennedy was killed was so the Vietnam War could happen.



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