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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

Dangerous Knowledge

The JFK Assassination in Art and Film

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With a New Preface by the Author

Art Simon

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.

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Excerpt

Read an excerpt from the Preface (pdf).

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Reviews

Praise for the First Edition:

"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."
American Studies

"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."
Library Journal

Praise for the Updated Edition:

"[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

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Contents

Preface to the New Paperback Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction: the Assassination Debates

Part I
1. The Zapruder Film
2. The Body
3. Images of Oswald

Part II
4. The Warhol Silkscreens
5. The Pop Camp
6. Bruce Conner
7. Assassination Video

Part III
8. Executive Action
9. The Parallax View/Winter Kills/Blow Out
10. JFK

Epilogue
Notes
Index

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About the Author(s)

Art Simon is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the English Department at Montclair State University and is co-editor (with Cynthia Lucia and Roy Grundmann) of The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film.

Subject Categories

American Studies
Cinema Studies
Art and Photography

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