JFK (1991)
February 14, 2016 1:26 PM - Subscribe

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

NYTImes: "J. F. K." begins with a promise of intrigue and revelation, though it soon becomes clear that Mr. Stone is Fibber McGee opening the door to an overstuffed closet. He is buried under all the facts, contradictory testimony, hearsay and conjecture that he would pack into the movie.

Roger Ebert: This is not a film about the facts of the assassination, but about the feelings. “JFK” accurately reflects our national state of mind since Nov. 22, 1963. We feel the whole truth has not been told, that more than one shooter was involved, that somehow maybe the CIA, the FBI, Castro, the anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia or the Russians, or all of the above, were involved. We don't know how. That's just how we feel.

Slant: There’s something almost quaint about JFK now. Director Oliver Stone’s once-controversial view of the fundamental dishonesty of the American government now seems, in light of eight years under Bush II, less cynical than obvious, and the film’s groundbreaking formal techniques have since been co-opted by everything from television ads to shitty action movies. Yet, viewed today, JFK still retains a primal power; no number of derivative, headache-inducing CSI episodes can blunt the impact of Stone’s aggressive visuals, and the film’s plea for accountability and honesty in government is as vital now as ever.


Oliver Stone defends JFK against conspiracy of dunces

Frontline: Hollywood and History, the debate over JFK

The Dissolve: Stone says JFK historically accurate, not conspiracy theory

The Atlantic: Film's failed quest to understand JFK's death

Making the movie JFK

Oliver Stone looks back at JFK

JFK and the untold history of Oliver Stone
posted by MoonOrb (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Back...and to the left.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:27 PM on February 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Bizarre, homophobic, factually challenged, and features one of the worst New Orleans accents put on film.

And yet so very watchable. It sometimes seems less like a
Movie than some weird beat poem, especially when John Candy is on the screen.
posted by maxsparber at 3:52 PM on February 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's a fascinating example of a work of art that is simultaneously complete drivel and absolutely riveting. It's the best use of cinematic technique of Oliver Stone's career. My favorite sequence is Garrison's sit-down in the park with Donald Sutherland giving that amazing conspiracy-laden monologue.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:54 PM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

An impressive display of Stone's technical skills while such a mess editorially. I mean, making Jim Garrison a hero (and having him play Earl Warren in a cameo)? Arrrrgh. And Stone's "this isn't a documentary" defense is a total copout.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:52 AM on February 15, 2016

. My favorite sequence is Garrison's sit-down in the park with Donald Sutherland giving that amazing conspiracy-laden monologue.

And yet this is where I checked out of the film entirely, because it was the point at which the drivel outweighed the performances and the cinematic construction so completely.
posted by kewb at 6:14 AM on February 15, 2016

But Sutherland is SSSOOOOOO GOOD. Despite being the most Canadian-sounding American Master-Spy ever.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:59 AM on February 15, 2016

"Got the Dalai Lama oat"
posted by wabbittwax at 7:03 AM on February 15, 2016

Following this movie, I bought the Garrison book, and I was like, holy shit, this is all true!

Several books later, I'm all, wow, I was way wrong to be taken in by these con artists, but holy shit, Oliver Stone is a psychopath!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:56 PM on February 15, 2016

The Garrison/Mr. X sequence on the mall is an editing master class. The X-Files tried to replicate for ten seasons, and never quite got it right. There's even a blatant ripoff of the sequence in the reboot pilot.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:05 AM on February 16, 2016

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