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Something Wrong with the Official Version of the Assassination

March 7th, 2010 · 9 Comments

JFK 1991 poster JFK DVD

JFK (1991)
Directed by Oliver Stone
Screenplay by Oliver Stone & Zachary Sklar, based on the books On The Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs
Produced by Oliver Stone, A. Kitman Ho
Running time: 189 minutes (theatrical version)/ 206 minutes (director’s cut)

Should I Care?
Before Michael Moore came along, columnists representing all the colors of the political spectrum looking forward to the day they could be outraged again had to wait eighteen months for Oliver Stone to make another movie. Irked by the dramatic license Stone took to make entertainment amid the social turmoil of Central America (Salvador) or Wall Street (Wall Street), pundits got their bowties in a bundle when Stone started muddying the waters of history in movies dealing with the antiwar protest (Born on the Fourth of July), the life and times of Jim Morrison (The Doors) and most notoriously, the JFK assassination in JFK. Whatever your favorite conspiracy theory, this epic re-examination of the crime of the century from every conceivable angle — plus seven or eight you probably never conceived of — is nothing short of cinematic Cirque du Soleil, unfolding flashbacks within flashbacks through film editing and sound in a controlled demolition of sorts.

It’s easy to armchair quarterback JFK and question some of the audibles. Kevin Costner seems a bit wholesome to play a district attorney in the Big Easy and some of the oratory typed up for him gets almost as stiff as Costner does. In terms of both the murder mystery at the heart of the material and the technique employed to bring it to the screen, the film has few peers. Drafting top craftsmen — from director of photography Robert Richardson to composer John Williams on down — Stone juggles archive footage with fabrication, black & white with color, Tommy Lee Jones with Joe Pesci. The assassination is initially presented as it was understood at the time, slowly unraveling until an alternate, much more insidious version is proposed. This becomes the stuff great thrillers are made. Critics who argue that it’s all propaganda haven’t really watched the movie. Stone never declares who he believes killed the president and why. That’s ultimately left up to the audience to discuss and decide on our own.

JFK 1991 Jay O. Sanders Kevin Costner

So, What’s This About?
On November 22, 1963, New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) is notified that the president has been shot. A family man, World War II veteran and popular anti-corruption crusader, Garrison and his staff (Jay O. Sanders, Michael Rooker, Laurie Metcalf, Wayne Knight, Gary Grubbs) watch live on TV as Dallas police apprehend a suspect in Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) who in a press conference coolly maintains his innocence. Oswald is shot in a parking lot the next day by nightclub owner Jack Ruby (Brian Doyle Murray). Alerted that Oswald spent the summer before the assassination in New Orleans, Garrison summons a known associate named David Ferrie (Joe Pesci) for an interview on a tip he might have been a getaway pilot for Oswald. The FBI questions and releases Ferrie mysteriously. Four years later, a candid chat with Senator Russell Long (Walter Matthau) and glaring inconsistencies in the Warren Commission Report prompt Garrison to reopen the murder of President Kennedy.

The case begins on the night of the assassination when private eye Guy Bannister (Ed Asner) pistol whipped his friend Jack Martin (Jack Lemmon). Martin links David Ferrie and Oswald to Bannister, who was involved in a CIA scheme to train Cuban exiles for another invasion of the island. Garrison follows the trail to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, where witnesses report hearing shots fired from a grassy knoll in front of the president’s motorcade, as well as intimidation from federal agents. Garrison’s suspicion falls onto New Orleans industrialist Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) who has CIA ties and discussed an assassination plot with Ferrie and Oswald months before the murder. Scrutinized, attacked and discredited, Garrison’s own wife Liz (Sissy Spacek) begins to question her husband’s case. Garrison is summoned to Washington by a retired Air Force colonel who gives the name X (Donald Sutherland). X confirms that Garrison is closer to the truth than he thinks; Kennedy was killed by a military coup d’état opposed to the president’s intent to end the Cold War.

JFK 1991 Kevin Costner Donald Sutherland

Who Should Be Held Responsible?
In May 1988, Oliver Stone attended the Latin American Film Festival in Havana to accept an award for Salvador. In an elevator, a publisher named Ellen Ray introduced herself and told the filmmaker about a book by Jim Garrison that she was publishing titled On The Trail of the Assassins. Headed to the Philippines to shoot the Vietnam sequences for Born on the Fourth of July, Stone read the galleys within days and quickly optioned the film rights out of his own pocket. In search of a writer who could get to work on a first draft, Zachary Sklar, editor of Jim Garrison’s book, was recommended. Stone would also option a book by Jim Marrs titled Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy and hire a researcher named Jane Rusconi to lead a team that poured over a hundred more books and documents examining the Kennedy assassination in detail. Arriving on the structure for a murder mystery spanning three cities — New Orleans, Dallas and Washington — Stone successfully pitched his concept to the heads of Warner Bros. in December 1989 and found a home for JFK.

With a screenplay ambitious enough for two movies and a budget that doubled what Stone initially proposed at $40 million, producer Arnon Milchan came on board with financial support from investors based in France (Le Studio Canal+) and Germany (Alcor Films). Stone and casting director Risa Bramon Garcia considered virtually every name actor for a role in the film and doggedly pursued Kevin Costner to take the role of Jim Garrison. The script was kept under wraps until filming was set to get underway in Dallas, but by May 1991 the first scathing attack on the film’s historical inaccuracies appeared in The Washington Post. Many more newspapers and magazines picked up on the furor and despite Stone’s repeated attempts to conduct articulate damage control, JFK and its director were assailed in the media leading up to a hurried release in December. A critical and commercial success and nominated for eight Academy Awards, pundits would continue to attack JFK as propaganda for months.

JFK 1991 Gary Oldman

How’d They Do It?
Ellen Ray was the publisher of a newsletter called CovertAction Information Bulletin and meeting Oliver Stone in a hotel in Havana, began telling him about a book by former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison she was set to publish. In Stone: The Controversies, Excesses and Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker by James Riordan, Stone recalled, “It was at this socialist hotel where it takes like thirty minutes for the elevator to get to the twelfth floor. We were on this creaky elevator and at first I thought she was another of the three thousand crusaders that go to these things around the world, who would talk my ear off about her pet peeve. But Ellen Ray is an extraordinary person in her own right. Back in 1967 she went down to New Orleans to volunteer her services to work with Garrison. She’s one of the most courageous women I’ve met in my life. She has a small printing press with her husband, Bill, and they publish that bulletin. She’s amazingly accurate about some things. And she said, ‘Read this book.’”

Stone ended the conversation by telling Ray to forward the galleys of On The Trail of the Assassins to his office at Fox. Two days later, Ray received a phone call from Stone. Interviewed for a Texas Monthly cover story in December 1991, Ray recalled, “He said, ‘It’s a great book, but I can’t do it. I’m on my way to the Philippines to film Born on the Fourth of July. But you won’t have any trouble selling it.’ Two days later, he called from Hawaii, saying, ‘I just read the book again on the plane. I can’t do it. I’m overloaded.’ Three days later, he called from the Philippines, saying, ‘I’m hooked. I’m going to option it.’” Stone was initially drawn into the material for the film noir aspects that seemed to leap off the page of Garrison’s book. “This pistol whipping occurs on the night of November 22, 1963 on a rainy night in which this guy Jack Martin gets his skull laid open by his boss, Guy Bannister, and out of that little Raymond Chandler kind of incident, Garrison spins this tale of international intrigue — a hell of a trail. As a dramatist, that excited me.”

JFK 1991 Jack Lemmon

Oliver Stone was 17 on the day the president was assassinated. “The Kennedy murder was one of the signal events of the postwar generation, my generation. Vietnam followed, then the bombing of Cambodia and Laos, the Pentagon Papers, the Chile affair, Watergate, going up to Iran-Contra in the eighties. We’ve had a series of major shocks. I think the American public smells a rat that’s been chewing on the innards of the government for years.” He added, “As an adolescent, I was self-absorbed with other problems, but I still felt like there was something wrong with the official version of the assassination.” Rather than engage a studio to option On The Trail of the Assassins, Stone kept his interest as quiet as possible by putting up his own money. Stone would also option a book by Jim Marrs titled Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. He contracted a recent Yale grad named Jane Rusconi to head a research team and assemble as much information on the assassination as they could compile.

Stone’s technical advisers included Larry N. Howard, founder and coordinator of the JFK Assassination Information Center in Dallas. Howard left no bones about why he believed the president was murdered. “John F. Kennedy committed suicide, political suicide. He was getting out of Vietnam, getting rid of the Mafia, dumping Lyndon Johnson in 1964. He fired Allen Dulles from the CIA, said he was going to break up the CIA into a million pieces, make peace efforts with Castro and Krushchev, sign the nuclear test ban treaty. Civil rights was going strong. He had Bobby to succeed him; he had Teddy after Bobby. So the real people who had the power in this country, the military industrial complex, decided that Kennedy was soft on communism and was a threat to national security and worldwide peace. So they got rid of him through rogue elements of the CIA, with the Mafia as a junior partner. And from that point on, they covered it up from the top — the Warren Commission, which Johnson set up with Dulles on the panel.”

JFK 1991 Kevin Costner Jay O. Sanders

Also advising Stone was Fletcher Prouty, a retired Air Force colonel who served as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy administration. Prouty had provided logistical support for clandestine CIA operations from 1955-63. He gave Stone a declassified document that he had helped draft: National Security Action Memorandum 263, in which President Kennedy called for the recall of 1,000 advisers from Vietnam by 1963 and a complete withdrawal of U.S. personnel by 1965. As Prouty saw it, this is what got Kennedy killed. “Who did it? I would go to Lyndon Johnson for reference, when he said shortly before he died, ‘We had been operating a damned Murder, Inc.’ That’s an enormous statement coming from President Johnson. He was convinced that Oswald did not do it as an individual, that there was a conspiracy, and that the government had the capabilities to do it.” Prouty didn’t believe LBJ was involved in the assassination, but that the president kept his suspicions to himself after the fact.

In December 1989 — with Born on the Fourth of July in theaters and Stone prepping to shoot The Doors in March 1990 — the filmmaker and his agent Paula Wagner met with Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Robert Daly, president Terry Semel and production executive Bill Gerber. Stone revealed that he was writing a script about the JFK assassination. Semel recalled, “My reaction was we should do it. It was entertaining and intriguing, a great murder mystery, something we cared about and grew up thinking about. It took me two minutes to be totally engrossed with the whole idea.” Warner Bros. agreed to put up $20 million in financing for worldwide distribution rights. Stone recalled, “The film had a home. I know I could have made a better overall deal by selling off the international market separately, but I wanted to sell the whole thing to Warners because I didn’t want the script going all over the world to be bid on and read. I knew the material was dangerous and I wanted one entity to finance the whole thing. Given Terry Semel’s record of political films, Warners was my first choice.”

JFK 1991 Jay O. Sanders Ellen McElduff Kevin Costner

Stone hired Zachary Sklar to adapt Jim Garrison’s book into a screenplay. Sklar clarified, “I had not been what you call an assassination researcher –I was fifteen when the assassination occurred, and of course it deeply affected me, as did the other assassinations that followed. I didn’t take any particular research interest in it, I did become a journalist, and I edited a number of books about the CIA for Sheridan Square Press, which publishes books by former CIA agents who have become disillusioned with the agency. Sheridan Square Press approached me in 1987 with a manuscript from Jim Garrison that had been rejected by another publishing house. I worked on that book for about a year and a half with Jim Garrison, we re-structured and re-wrote it, and that book became On the Trail of the Assassins, that’s how I got into the assassination.” While Sklar focused on the Jim Garrison story, Stone worked on the Lee Harvey Oswald angle, the events at Dealey Plaza and the Mr. X story in Washington.

By July 1990, Kevin Costner, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe were on Stone’s short list to play Jim Garrison, but also being considered were Harrison Ford, Nick Nolte, Michael Douglas, Robin Williams, Michael Keaton, Mel Gibson, Gene Hackman, John Malkovich, Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro, Dennis Quaid, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and Marlon Brando. In the end, scripts went out simultaneously to Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner. Ford reportedly backed away from the material because he didn’t believe there was any conspiracy. Costner — a conservative tilting supporter of George H.W. Bush — may have had similar reservations, but Stone wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Costner was a big break for us. I chased him and got him. Mike Ovitz was instrumental in that. It helped that he was a strong fan of the movie and was strongly urging Costner, his client, to be in it. He kept saying, ‘He’s gonna do it, don’t worry. It’ll happen.’”

JFK 1991 Kevin Costner

Whether Dallas was ready to move beyond 11-22-63 or were just happy to see Stone — who had shot most of Born on the Fourth of July in Dallas and was now bringing $5 million to the local economy — for the most part, the city welcomed JFK. In an open audition that drew 11,000 to the Dallas Convention Center, locals were cast as the Kennedys and Connellys, as well as in sixty other bit parts. Shooting was scheduled to begin April 1991. The trouble began two months earlier. Assassination researcher Harold Weisberg had dispatched an angry letter to Stone disparaging the Jim Garrison investigation. Weisberg failed to draw a response, but did get a hold of a script, a first draft that he passed along to George Lardner Jr. of The Washington Post. Stone recalled, “When Lardner showed up at our offices and walked down the fucking hall uninvited, I knew we had a problem. He’s an old CIA investigative reporter and has many contacts in the agency. He was snooping around, and we escorted him off the set. And he wrote the worst possible story he could write.”

Many columnists would blast Stone for playing fast and loose with history at best, misleading the public at worst. Stone later commented, “I believe the Warren Commission Report is a great myth. And in order to fight a myth, maybe you have to create another one, a countermyth. No one really knows what happened on November 22, 1963, or who did it, but there sure are an abundance of flaws in the official investigation. I wanted to use Garrison as a vehicle for a larger perspective, a metaphoric protagonist who would stand in for about a dozen researchers. Filmmakers make myths. D.W. Griffith did it in Birth of a Nation. In Reds, Warren Beatty probably made John Reed look better than he was, but remained true to the spiritual truth of Reed’s life. I knew this would make Garrison somewhat better than he was and, in that sense, we’d be making him more of a hero. I knew I would catch a lot of flak for that, but I figured it was worth it to communicate, really get across, some truth in an area that had been steeped in lies for nearly thirty years.”

JFK 1991 Richard Rutowski

Filming wrapped in July 1991 and post-production supervisor Bill Brown highlighted the technical challenges of assembling the film Oliver Stone had in mind. “A show like Return of the Jedi would maybe have four to five hundred opticals. For JFK, we had two thousand opticals. Of course, the shots in something like Return of the Jedi would generally be much more complicated than the opticals we used in JFK, but the sheer volume of the JFK material made it very difficult. We smashed all the records at the optical house.” He added, “A line in the script would say, ‘A C-130 transport plane flies over the South Pole’ and we would have to find that shot. Now there’s a warehouse sitting out in Van Nuys with Air Force footage in it and there’s probably hundreds of thousands of feet of C-130s, but the Air Force has to read the script for you to get it. Obviously, we’re not going to turn the script of JFK over to the U.S. government armed forces, so we have to scrounge it from other places. Or he would ask for a shot of Robert Bissell, who was a CIA agent. Well, these guys are spooks; they’re not supposed to have their picture taken.”

In an interview with Cineaste in 1992, Stone explained “I wanted to do the film on two or three levels — sound and picture would take us back, and we’d go from one flashback to another, and then that flashback would go inside another flashback, like the Lee Bowers thing. We’d go to Lee Bowers at the Warren Commission, and then Lee Bowers at the railroad yard, all seen from Jim’s point of view in his study. I wanted multiple layers because reading the Warren Commission Report is like drowning. The levels and the consciousness of reality created through sound — the work done by Wylie Stateman and Michael Minkler is incredible — was also in the script. But Warner Bros. was confused by the script — you can imagine 158 pages filled with flashbacks like that and I think there are some 2,800 shots in the movie — so I took all the flashbacks and I gave them a simpler script which they liked. Then I and the editors — Joe Hutshing, Pietro Scalia and Hank Corwin — ended up putting all the flashbacks back in the editing room, and adding quite a few new ones in a sort of prismatic structure.”

JFK 1991 Kevin Costner Sissy Spacek

Arriving in U.S. theaters in December 1991, JFK dazzled critics. Desson Howe, The Washington Post: “Despite its three hours, JFK is almost always absorbing to watch. It’s not journalism. It’s not history. It is not legal evidence. Much of it is ludicrous. It’s a piece of art or entertainment. Stone, who has acknowledged his fusing of the known and the invented, has exercised his full prerogative to use poetic license. He should feel more than mere craftsman’s satisfaction at the result.” Richard Corliss, Time Magazine: “Part history book, part comic book, the movie rushes toward judgment for three breathless hours, lassoing facts and factoids by the thousands, then bundling them together into an incendiary device that would frag any viewer’s complacency. Stone’s picture is, in both meanings of the word, sensational: it’s tip-top tabloid journalism. In its bravura and breadth, JFK is seditiously enthralling; in its craft, wondrously complex.“ Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle: “Stone makes it virtually impossible to leave the theatre convinced, beyond all shadow of doubt, of the lone gunman theory. Or, at least, he sets the stage for a good argument. And that’s where JFK‘s real power lies — in stirring the national debate.”

On Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both delivered a ringing endorsement for JFK and debated the media furor it had stirred up. Roger Ebert: “I think intelligent moviegoers are capable of looking at this movie and knowing exactly what Stone did. He took real footage, he took fictional footage and a lot of it is speculative; in other words, Garrison’s imagining different ways the same thing could have happened and it’s exhilarating for us to follow that thought process through to the end, even if in the end, we still don’t know who killed Kennedy.” Gene Siskel: “I think what he is saying really, I think that included in the conspiracy is the American public, in the sense of not demanding more. Here’s a guy who feels, ‘Hey look it, I went to Vietnam, I have reason to believe that the whole Vietnam experience was caused, or could have been averted if Kennedy had lived. Not sure, but could have been — maybe a better chance than LBJ running the ship — and therefore, I laid my life on it, I have the right to make a film about it too.’”

JFK 1991 Kevin Costner Walter Matthau

Stone took the airwaves to discuss and defend JFK, appearing on Nightline, City Desk and The Oprah Winfrey Show for starters. He accepted an invitation to mix it up with Dan Rather on the CBS news magazine 48 Hours. “On Nightline they aired something like a six-minute clip and raised all kinds of charges, but then didn’t allow me to answer any of them. Because of that kind of prejudice, I was wary about the CBS News interview. When we did it, I was very painstaking about my answers. I left the Q&A session after every question to consult with my research assistants and then I’d come back and lay out the answer. That seemed to upset Dan Rather a bit. In the end, the interview took two hours and must have included twenty questions, but when they aired it they cut all by one question, the most innocuous one. They simply would not allow me to get my point across.” Four months after its release, MPAA president Jack Valenti, a former top aide to Lyndon Johnson, joined the chorus denouncing the film, comparing JFK to Triumph of the Will as a “propaganda masterpiece” and “hoax”.

Nevertheless, JFK drew box office receipts of $70.5 million in the United States and $135 million overseas. It would be nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Looking back on the media firestorm years later, Stone was still snakebit. “When Anthony Lewis would come out with a strong criticism about the film — and he was so one-sided in some of the statements he made — I would try to correct it and I couldn’t get the letter published. I had to go to the mat several times with Warners backing me to say we’re gonna take a full-page ad in The New York Times denouncing this unfair practice unless you publish this letter. It was that way with several publications. The moment I entered that arena I regretted it in a sense because it’s an endless battle — you’re attacked, and if you reply, they attack you again. They leave stuff out of your letter to make you look bad. The attacks became a major newspaper event. It was like Tommy Lee Jones said, everybody and their dog got to write an article about it and got paid for it.”

JFK 1991 Laurie Metcalf Wayne Knight Gary Grubbs Kevin Costner

Where’d You Get All of This?
“Can Hollywood Solve JFK’s Murder” By Mark Seal. Texas Monthly, December 1991

“Interview with Zachary Sklar, Co-Writer of the Movie JFK By Frank Morales and Paul DeRienzo.14 January 1992

“Clarifying the Conspiracy: An Interview With Oliver Stone” By Gary Crowdus. Cineaste, 1992

Stone: The Controversies, Excesses and Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker. By James Riordan. Hyperion (1995)

Tags: Alternate universe · Based on book · Crooked officer · Dreams and visions · Forensic evidence · Gangsters and hoodlums · Hitman · Interrogation · Military · Murder mystery · Paranoia · Shot In Texas

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 J.D. // Mar 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Along with NIXON, I think that JFK is Stone’s masterpiece. Say what you will about the film’s politics or its adherence to the facts (Stone has always said it was a countermyth to the Warren Report) but it is one helluva thriller. Robert Richardson shot the hell out of it with multiple film stocks and an insane amount of editing that mixes archival footage with recreations… amazing! The breakneck pacing of this film also makes sure that you’re never bored but you really do have to pay attention to keep up with everything… there is just so much info to absorb.

    Excellent write-up on my all-time fave films!

  • 2 Yojimbo_5 // Mar 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    “JFK” was Stone’s high-water mark. That is as good a film as he can make and it is a breath-taking ride. It’s as historically accurate as “Inglourious Basterds,” but Richardson, Williams, Joe Hutshing, and Pietro Scalia (the film’s brilliant editors–they should be named) created a dazzling piece of work that puts out multiple conspiracy theories and makes up interviews that never happened, but collects everything under one encompassing banner: Dig for your truth.

    The movie is as looney and as corrupt as they come…but it is a brilliantly made film. Amazing!

  • 3 Yojimbo_5 // Mar 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Oh! And it decreased degrees of separation with Kevin Bacon by at least 1 with half of Hollywood.

  • 4 Matthew L. // Mar 12, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Most of it is BS, but so are most biopics and films based on true stories. Stone should’ve just kept his mouth shut and let the film, (as a factual piece of fiction), speak for itself. The debate will never end, so just accept it and leave it alone.

  • 5 Patrick // Mar 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I haven’t seen it since it played in theaters, had to check the release date at the top of your post and was shocked that it’s been 19 years, wow. Anyway, I found it absurd at the time and doubt I’d feel differently now. I couldn’t get past the totally ridiculous nature of the conspiracy theories they come up with to decide if it’s a well made movie. That’s how I have to evaluate a movie that is about an incredibly well known event – is it plausible? Not to me it isn’t, so that doesn’t leave much to like in this one.

  • 6 Joe Valdez // Mar 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    J.D.: Thanks to your enthusiasm for Nixon, I may have to watch it again. After seven films in seven years, I think Oliver Stone hit his creative wall with JFK. Everything he tried from that point forward felt like the organ grinder’s arm had just worn down, but man, what a run he had. Not only were each of those films technically audacious with big casts and in some cases music, but each had a social conscience as well. Thanks for commenting!

    Jim: I made a point of finding mention of the editorial staff, which not only includes Hank Corwin and Bill Brown in post, but the head of Stone’s research team, Jane Rusconi. One filmmaker simply could not have pulled a movie like JFK out of a hat by himself and Stone has given credit where credit is due. As far as the picture being “corrupt”, my opinion is that Stone’s version is much closer to the truth than the Warren Commission. Thanks for your comments!

    Matthew: Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. The one problem for directors letting their movie speak for itself is that you allow other groups to get out in front of you and frame the debate in a way that makes audiences think, “Wow, if that’s true, I don’t want to see that.” But you’re right, certain subject matter, you’re really in a no-win situation in the media and the only remedy is allowing people to discover the movie on their own, after the politics of the day have gotten out of everyone’s way.

    Patrick: I don’t agree with half of the theories bandied about in the movie either, but if you were to rewatch the film, you might be surprised that most every alternate take on the assassination is prefaced by words like “suppose”, “let’s speculate” or “what if”. Stone intended the movie to be a murder mystery first and foremost as well as a conversation starter. Documentary has never been anything he’s claimed to be in pursuit of, even if you look at Platoon. It comes down to whether the filmmaker’s perception of reality washes with yours or it doesn’t, which is fair enough. Thanks for commenting!

  • 7 Kathleen // Mar 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Oliver Stone and Michael Moore should team up and bring us the truths about JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, H.W. Bush, Reagan and G.’W’ Bush, calling it ‘Seven Presidents And How They Shaped our World’. It is about time Americans were aware of how our government ‘works’ and why Americans are so disliked throughout the world because of it.

  • 8 Jimmy J. // Jul 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Even if 99% of the movie was fictionalized, there’s still enough evidence to prove Oswald didn’t act alone. As a matter of fact, the government reopened the investigation in the late 70s and used new acoustical evidence to prove there was a second shooter.Regardless, the movie is a BEAUTIFUL piece of cinema.

  • 9 haa // Aug 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Wether its historically accurate or not is completely missing the point. Just look at the response Stone got from trying to swim up current

    Its funny how even the film’s defenders seem obliged to preface their cautious endorsement by stating they firmly agree the film is completely looney tunes, like its mandatory you bend over for a sanity frisking before even thinking of adding your say-so to the grown-up table….yet the Warren report, the 9/11 report- not exactly iron clad are they? (oops, do i sound like a member of the tin hat brigade now? 😛 )

    Movies that poke and probe at our consensus agreement on what constitues ‘reality’ or ‘history’ really make people uncomfortable, especially if they have alot invested in official myths. You’re putting their very identity under a high powered microscope & they don’t take that lightly

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