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Effects Of 11/22/63 On Films Of The 60's & 70's


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For example, take a look at this 10 minute clip from Antonioni's 1966 "Blow Up." Does it all seem...I don't know...familiar?

Antonioni's Blow Up clip

I think that film was based on a story published before '63 (which I haven't read), but I wouldn't be surprised that the image of a hidden gunman behind the fence on a grassy knoll had a different inspiration.

One of my favorites is "The President's Analyst" from the following year. Although it's played as a comedy, I like the portrayal of sinister powerful forces working sometimes together and sometimes at cross purposes. And great wordless scenes as the psychiatrist comes out of the President's office clearly boggled and barely able to keep his composure -- what the President has said is left to the audience's imagination.

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Bonnie and Clyde - impossible without Zapruder film rumors, or actual insider viewing of the film.

The whole point of its near-contemporary, Blow-Up, is that evidence of a political murder lies hidden in plain sight on film - again impossible without rumor of Zapruder or seeing the film. The protagonist's life grows less shallow, but more dangerous...

BTW - this is old stuff in cinema courses.

Edited by David Andrews
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You're an investigator. You've discovered a conspiracy. It goes right to the top. No one in the official world wants to go there and they want you to know what a mistake it is that you're going there. You can't believe the corruption and ugliness involved. It's like nothing you've ever seen or imagined.

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

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What about The Conversation (1974) The first time I tried watching it I quit. THe second time wow what a masterpiece. Watergate is obvious. But what makes this movie so interesting is the whole banality of peeping aspect. Its mundane, work-a-day conventioneer spooks makes it feel as much Vesco-Intertel as Watergate. Some of the character actors seem like guys who might have paid heavy tolls on the bridge to Bebe Rebozo's Paradise. And that's what's so interesting about these humdrum spooks released onto celluloid in 1974: they seem more at home in Howard Johnson's on Lobster Night than Ms. Chenault's crib across the street.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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The Parallax View is still the best. What makes it so interesting seen from today's point of view is how it is BOTH action picture and experimental/weirdo/ "arthouse" movie.

Did those twains meet before or since?

IMO this is an important point because of this rare combinations' unique ability to get many more people interested in something as guardedly esoteric as the MK ULTRA , and Artichoke programs.

I am particularly fond of the performance of the character actor who plays the intermediary between The Parallax Corporation and the Warren Beaty character. Can't remember his name but he was amazing. I think he died shortly after filming, however.

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You're an investigator. You've discovered a conspiracy. It goes right to the top. No one in the official world wants to go there and they want you to know what a mistake it is that you're going there. You can't believe the corruption and ugliness involved. It's like nothing you've ever seen or imagined.

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

"He's rich! Do you understand? He thinks he can get away with anything. "

Speaking of Jack Nicholson, how about Easy Rider (1969)

The 1960's epitome of Counter Culture vs Establishment movie.

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The Parallax View is still the best. What makes it so interesting seen from today's point of view is how it is BOTH action picture and experimental/weirdo/ "arthouse" movie.

Did those twains meet before or since?

IMO this is an important point because of this rare combinations' unique ability to get many more people interested in something as guardedly esoteric as the MK ULTRA , and Artichoke programs.

I am particularly fond of the performance of the character actor who plays the intermediary between The Parallax Corporation and the Warren Beaty character. Can't remember his name but he was amazing. I think he died shortly after filming, however.

I too thought Parallax View intriguing. Len Osanic interviewed Loren Singer the author of the book on Black Op Radio and Singer said that he based the story on the tests they gave him for OSS during WWII.

I wanted to talk to Singer but I understand he has since died, and Len has taken down the interview he did so I can't transcribe it.

In any case I wanted to ask SInger about the ending of the book, which is different than the movie. In the book the protagonist is killed in an intentional car crash in the South Jersey marshes between Cape May and Wildwood, near where I used to live. I went there and found a secret Navy base, labeled Navy Electronics Research Station that I learned from the locals was a Navy nuke sub radio relay station.

I'd like to do a JFK Assassination Film Festival - first over the internet and then maybe in DC or a traveling show, in which the best films are reviewed and studied and commented on.

There are two JFK researchers who teach film at the college level - Chris Sharrat at Seton Hall in North Jersey and Gus Russo's co-author Stephen Molton at NYU.

BK

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2005/jun/24/features

This is what film directing is all about.

Jim, that's a fine story by Peter Bowles about Antonioni.

Big Hollywood has produced some great films, but for me it will always be Executive Action, in no small part because of the subject matter.

The back story of how it came to be made, the shoestring budget, the actors working for scale, the small distribution company which shut down

after EA was released, the incredible controversy during it's release and abbreviated theatre run all contribute to the mystique.

After the film was yanked from theatres, it remained out of circulation for a decade. I remember coming out of the theatre with my mother, feeling angry.

I knew the movie was fictive, but I also knew that somewhere there were evil men that got away with the murder of a President. And most people didn't care.

None of those other films affected me as viscerally as Executive Action did.

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I'd forgotten all about WUSA -- set in New Orleans. Seedy, grim, wised about politics. Not great, but definitely 11/22/63 influenced.

And you've got the real life comparison: New Orleans radio station WNOE owned by James Noe, the former Democratic governor -- a Huey Long Democrat who leaned right after the 1960 elections.

James Noe's daughter was married to -- wait for it -- Gordon McLendon, owner of KLIF in Dallas. Yeah, the same guy whom Jack Ruby called one of his best friends in Dallas. And the same guy who started that retired intelligence agents group with David Atlee Phillips.

WUSA was based on the Robert Stone novel Hall Of Mirrors, but Stone's follow-up novel was much better and captured the nation's cynical mood even better: Dog Soldier, about CIA drug-running during the Viet Nam War. The movie based on that book was Who'll Stop The Rain, complete with Credence Clearwater music and one of Nick Nolte's best roles.

Edited by John Navin
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Seven Days in May (1964)

I believe JFK read part of the script before the movie was released.

Executive Action in 1973.

Of course Burt Lancaster played starring roles in both of the above great films. In 1977, on the back end of an illustrious career, Lancaster starred in Robert Aldrich's taut thriller Twilight's Last Gleaming.

Although the action may seem a little stilted by today's standards, it features a stellar cast and makes strong statements about Vietnam, nuclear threats, and political assassinations.

Under the radar for many years, the only DVDs available are produced in Japan, to the best of my knowledge.

There are some absolutely great lines in the film about the national security state and the war apparatus.

I admire Lancaster. He had the guts to appear in highly controversial films (he accepted scale for Executive Action) and he had the courage to support many political and social causes that were not fashionable at the time.

Here's a review: http://filmref.com/journal/archives/2007/02/twilights_last_gleaming_1977.html

As of this posting the entire film can be watched on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD_zN3o-m3I

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