XL Popcorn – JFK

So the big hope was that, with the Covid-19 lockdown, I would be able to get a bunch of things crossed off at hyper speed. Unfortunately the opposite has happened and psychologically I’ve just been going down and quickly. I’ve tried maintaining this blog, but when I have no energy to read, listen to new albums or to write… things have become very difficult. So these next posts are going to be briefer than usual.

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 827/1007Title: JFK
Director: Oliver Stone
Year: 1991
Country: USA

It was the husband’s pick today, so today we watched a three hour Oliver Stone film about the investigation into the conspiracy behind JFK’s death. Going into this, I knew that this was going to very much be watching a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream and that Stone would be presenting this as fact. Given some of the more damaging theories going around at the moment (i.e. anti-vaxx and the 5G-Covig-19 link) I had to make a conscious effort to try and enjoy the film for what it is.

I tried. Problem is that this film has a major problem around its screenplay. So much of it could be solved with the old maxim of ‘show, don’t tell’. Of the three hours, about two of them were exposition based and some of the accompanying dialogue was clunky as all hell. There are times where it worked, like most scenes with Kevin Bacon, Laurie Metcalf and Tommy Lee Jones, but so much of the remaining would have worked as effectively as a podcast.

Watching this, it was also a bit difficult to get beyond the blatant homophobia. Stone makes sure that we hear the idea that the character’s gayness has nothing to do with the accusations – before pivoting towards the opposite. In the end, the conclusion of the jury matches pretty my own feeling about the assassination – that there was some sort of conspiracy around the death.

However, JFK leaves me unconvinced of Stone’s own narrative of the events. A number of things make sense – yet at the back of my mind I have the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. This showed us not only that these insane lone terrorists exist, but how they can achieve something that feels impossible.

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