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  • Writer's pictureRacehorse Pictures

RACEHORSE SCREENING ROOM

"JFK"

(1991)

Director: Oliver Stone

Based on the books:

"On the Trail of the Assassins" by Jim Garrison and

"Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy" by Jim Marrs

Director of Photography: Robert Richardson


"To sin in silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men."

Ella Wheeler Cox

A crowning achievement. A cinematic masterpiece. One of our all-time favorite films. Oliver Stone was at the height of his powers after winning directing Oscars for "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July", skewering Wall Street greed in "Wall Street", popping off the incendiary "Talk Radio" in between projects, and expanding his visual vocabulary with "The Doors" and he used his clout to unleash a sprawling and passionate rallying cry against corruption, propaganda, and greed. The story of America. The story of a man waking up to the fact he lives not in the idyllic democracy he assumed he lived in, but a more dark, sinister and shadowy world. The story of a man learning that justice and truth is an illusion. After playing with the cinematic form with his long-time collaborator Robert Richardson in "The Doors", the duo went all in with an overwhelming visual aesthetic. Utilizing 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, color and black and white film and seamlessly integrating with actual footage, the film is a masterclass. Not to mention complicated editing of it all that boggles the mind, all done pre-digital post. The film is meticulously researched (if you have doubts read the book of the film, see below), but don't be fooled - it is not a documentary. It is a dramatized story, but it creates such an uneasy, accurate portrait of how the corridors of power actually work. The film was divisive upon its release and one could argue that Stone's career was never the same. He ruffled too many feathers. He challenged the establishment too much that afterwards he lost some luster (although the majority of his output post-"JFK" is still great). But he was insightful and prescient with the current world marred by corruption, censorship, and an out-of-control military-industrial complex. What a stacked cast! Full of small parts with big time actors that all leave such a mark they could all have been nominated for awards. Sally Kirkland, Jay O. Sanders, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon, Vincent D'Onofrio, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Brian Doyle-Murray, Wayne Knight, Michael Rooker, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Grubbs, Joe Pesci, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Tony Plana, Tommy Lee Jones, Tomas Milian, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Lolita Davidovich, Frank Whaley, Donald Sutherland just to name a few! Not to mention star Kevin Costner who was also cashing in some chips. Plus a rousing and unnerving score from John Williams. A must-see for cinephiles. Bought at Videomatica.


For further insight on the cinematography and editing of the picture with interviews with Robert Richardson and Joe Hutshing, check out the Movie Geeks United podcasts on JFK:








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