The Ontology of Replay: The Zapruder Video and American Conspiracy Films
The Ontology of Replay: The Zapruder Video and American Conspiracy Films

Special Issue on “JFK Assassination: The Rise and Fall of Camelot.” Ed. Karmen Šterk. Teorija in praksa 50 (2013).

“Did you ever wake up to find /A day that broke up your mind/ Destroyed your notion of circular time”

(Rolling Stones,  “Sway” in Sticky Fingers; 1971).

ABSTRACT: The Zapruder video is a visual sampling of a traumatic event that needs to be repeated, retold, and reframed in an endless hermeneutic process. The document revealed that the replay offers the possibility of a different cinematic time, and thus a different way of re-constructing actual events. Several US conspiracy films of the 1970s organize their narrative through the replay, rather than the more traditional figure of the flashback. This study explores how the communicational experience of Kennedy’s assassination created an epistemological break, an unprecedented interrogation about the ability of the image to reveal the deep nature of events.

Key Words: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Albert and David Maysles, Gimme Shelter, Alan J. Pakula, the Zapruder Video, The Parallax View, direct cinema.

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The Ontology of Replay: The Zapruder Video and American Conspiracy Films

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