The JFK Assassination in Art and Film
Publication: Jan 13
5.25 x 9
9 color photos, 11 figs., 7 halftones
On the historic 50th Anniversary, this reissued edition looks at the contemporary meanings and influences of images of the JFK assassination by filmmakers, photographers, and artists
Fifty years ago, the assassination of John F. Kennedy shocked the world and focused attention to the 8mm footage shot by Abraham Zapruder. The event fueled conspiracy theories and repeated viewings of Zapruder's film as seemingly everyone in the world searched for motive and conclusive proof of a single gunman.
In his new Preface to this edition of Dangerous Knowledge, Art Simon discusses public fascination with celebrity deaths and recent assassination-related media—from documentaries to scholarly books to the scandalous video game JFK Reloaded—to show that the assassination continues to inspire writers, artists, and filmmakers.
Dangerous Knowledge examines the seminal works of art associated with the assassination, including Andy Warhol's silk screens, the underground films of Bruce Conner, and provocative Hollywood films like The Parallax View and JFK. Simon's investigation places assassination art and images within a historical context—one that helps us understand what the assassination has meant to American culture.
"This history of the representation of the JFK assassination makes a terrific contribution to film studies and indeed to cultural studies generally. Moving with wit and erudition across political history, avant-garde film, serigraphy, journalism, and mass-market film, Simon transcends the banalities of the high culture/low culture binary to produce a study of exemplary range and insight."
—David E. James, School of Cinema-Television, University of Southern California
"Simon’s employment of both cultural and film theory provides enlightening exploration into a seminal, yet elusive, moment in history and into a culture that continues to provide revisions of that history."
"Beginning with a description of a poster for a punk band and ending with a critique of the movie JFK, this work marshals an impressive array of cultural information in attempting to provide an overall history of the genre. Simon closely examines images and films, relating them to the continuing struggle over the authoring and interpretation of the story of Kennedy's death."
"(A) reissue (with a new 10-page preface) of the 1996 book, out in time for the 50th anniversary of November 22, 1963. The new preface places the study and the event it relates in the broader context of the continuing public fascination with celebrity deaths—and, sadly, assassinations as well."
—Communication Booknotes Quarterly
Table of Contents
Preface to the New Paperback Edition
Introduction: the Assassination Debates
1. The Zapruder Film
2. The Body
3. Images of Oswald
4. The Warhol Silkscreens
5. The Pop Camp
6. Bruce Conner
7. Assassination Video
8. Executive Action
9. The Parallax View/Winter Kills/Blow Out
About the Author(s)
In the Series
Culture and the Moving Image edited by Robert Sklar
The Culture and the Moving Image series, edited by Robert Sklar, seeks to publish innovative scholarship and criticism on cinema, television, and the culture of the moving image. The series will emphasize works that view these media in their broad cultural and social frameworks. Its themes will include a global perspective on the world-wide production of images; the links between film, television, and video art; a concern with issues of race, class, and gender; and an engagement with the growing convergence of history and theory in moving image studies.