Chapter

Visual Culture and Film

Peter Knight

in The Kennedy Assassination

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780748624102
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671199 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624102.003.0007
Visual Culture and Film

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The story of the Kennedy assassination is inseparable from the mass production and consumption of illusory images in postwar American politics and culture, not least because the Camelot White House pioneered the careful cultivation of a media image in which style seemed to replace substance. Numerous iconic images of the assassination and its aftermath have engrained themselves into the contemporary American imagination, from the Zapruder footage to John Kennedy Jr's salute of his father's coffin at the funeral, and from Oswald's death ‘live’ on television to bootlegged copies of Kennedy's autopsy photos. In addition to the snapshots and home movie clips captured by amateur and professional photographers on the day, the iconography of the assassination has fascinated numerous avant-garde artists, most notably Andy Warhol. Having looked at these accidental and avant-garde representations, this chapter discusses the repeated shootings of the assassination in Hollywood films, in particular Blow-Up (1966), The Parallax View (1974), Blow Out (1981), and JFK (1991), all of which are notable for their sophisticated visual and cinematic techniques.

Keywords: Kennedy assassination; assassination; Hollywood films; iconography; avant-garde artists; Andy Warhol; John Kennedy Jr; Zapruder

Chapter.  11794 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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