In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, our series at the Chazen Museum of Art in October and November includes four movies that reflect audiences’ fascination with the murder, its effect on American society and culture, and the many conspiracy theories that emerged in the aftermath of November 22, 1963. From the 1970s, Alan Pakula’s The Parallax View and William Richert’s Winter Kills, showing in a new 35mm print, both create thinly veiled fictional spins on the assassination. From the early 1990s, Clint Eastwood stars as a Secret Service agent traumatized by his failure to protect Kennedy in In the Line of Fire; and Oliver Stone’s controversial JFK is an utterly compelling file-cabinet of a movie as it lays out its own, complicated conspiracy theories. These programs are also presented in conjunction with a new restoration of Emile De Antonio’s Rush to Judgment screening at our regular venue, 4070 Vilas Hall, on November 17.
USA | 1991 | 35mm | 188 min.
Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Costner), troubled by several local connections to the November, 1963 death of President Kennedy, launches his own investigation to determine who was involved with the assassination. In the several years that follow, Garrison uncovers a vast network of potential plotters and subversives, convincing him that Lee Harvey Oswald (Oldman) did not act alone. Controversial upon its original release, Stone’s fascinating, epic-length conspiracy theory (or theories) is brilliantly conveyed through groundbreaking editing by Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia, who, along with cinematographer Robert Richardson, won Oscars for their work. In addition to Oldman and the Oscar-nominated Jones, the jaw-dropping supporting cast includes Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Edward Asner, and an unforgettable Joe Pesci as David Ferrie.