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The Kennedy Assassination$
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Peter Knight

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624102

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624102.001.0001

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Visual Culture and Film

Visual Culture and Film

(p.133) 7 Visual Culture and Film
The Kennedy Assassination

Peter Knight

Edinburgh University Press

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

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