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The Kennedy Assassination Film in Visual Culture

By Øyvind Vågnes

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

This book would not have been written if it were not for a generous invitation from Edward Ingebrigtsen, of Georgetown University, to come to the Library of Congress as a Fulbright fellow in 2001–2002. I owe many thanks to both him and the Fulbright...

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pp. 1-23

The motorcade turns onto Houston Street, and in the backseat of one of the cars sits President John F. Kennedy, smiling and waving to the crowds that have gathered along the road, his wife next to him. The car disappears behind a road sign...

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1. Owning, Showing, Telling

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pp. 24-45

In the afternoon of November 25, 1963, the day of Kennedy’s funeral, Hughes Rudd and Richard C. Hotelett were speaking on CBS Radio when Rudd suddenly exclaimed, “Dick, ah, Dan Rather just came into the studio.” Rudd went on to ask...

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2. Eternally Framed

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pp. 46-68

The camera zooms in quickly on a bronze bust of Kennedy, and we hear a man declaring solemnly with a distinct British accent: “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States has been the victim of an assassination.” Then there is a deep, collective sigh...

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3. Inside the Zapruder Museum

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pp. 69-78

The episode takes up only three to four of the more than eight hundred pages of Don DeLillo’s Underworld, yet a reader will never put away the book without remembering it: a painter and artist, Klara Sax, follows a film connoisseur, Miles Lightman...

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4. No Hugging, No Learning

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pp. 79-90

Jerry Seinfeld is talking to his friends Elaine Benes (Julia Louis- Dreyfus) and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) about a new friendship he has struck up with Keith Hernandez (making a cameo appearance), and at the mention of the baseball...

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5. Pleasing to the Eye

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pp. 91-101

A copy of the Zapruder film is projected, and then large color prints of individual frames are exhibited in the room. Reproductions of Andy Warhol’s silk print Orange Marilyn (1964) and Alfred Stieglitz’s photograph The Steerage (1907) are then shown...

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6. Death in Dallas

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pp. 102-117

Two or three people are seated on the floor, four on a bench in the back, and a couple lean against one of the black walls. They have all drawn aside a curtain and stepped into a small, dark room where a video projection provides the only light...

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7. Oswald's Window

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pp. 118-135

“We’re now going to go into the Kennedy museum and talk to the curator,” the Artist-President says, waving to a small group of bystanders from the stairs to the Dal-Tex Building in Dealey Plaza. Flanked by his wife, he enters what was a Kennedy...

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8. Traveling Images

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pp. 136-152

In slow motion, a limousine guarded by two policemen on motorcycles arrives at a park in Los Angeles, and out of the car steps Bill Gates (Steve Sires). An opening title suggests that we are in Los Angeles, and that what we are going to see took place...


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pp. 153-184


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pp. 185-199


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pp. 201-211

E-ISBN-13: 9780292735514
E-ISBN-10: 0292735510
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292728639
Print-ISBN-10: 0292728638

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Amateur films -- Texas -- Dallas -- History -- 20th century.
  • Kennedy, John F. -- (John Fitzgerald), -- 1917-1963 -- Assassination.
  • Kennedy, John F. 1917-1963 (John Fitzgerald), -- In motion pictures.
  • Motion pictures and history.
  • Memory -- Political aspects -- United States.
  • Zapruder, Abraham.
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