Shabcast 24, Part 1 of the JFK / Nixon Conversation
It’s Shabcast listenin’ time again.
This time I was joined by James and Daniel again, and – for the first time – by Kit Power. We talked for as long as you’d expect about Oliver Stone’s insane, brilliant ’90s political movies JFK and Nixon, thus helping to remedy the desperate online shortage of white guys talking about movies about white guys made by white guys.
This week you can listen to the first half of our conversation, here.
August 25, 2016 @ 10:26 am
Damnit, I was hoping to get some work done today! (I wasn’t really)
Anthony D Herrera
August 26, 2016 @ 2:15 pm
That was a really fun one.
You brought up the question of whether major Hollywood studio films can be subversive and that immediately made me think of the 1987 Alex Cox film Walker which was about the true story of William Walker an American who in the 1850’s took a bunch of mercenaries down to Nicaragua and ruled it for two years. It was an anything but subtle attack on US foreign policy at the time filmed in Nicaragua for $6 million and released by Universal pictures. It’s completely crazy and ultra violent and I highly recommend it. Though a lot of people I show it to hate it and Roger Ebert gave it zero stars. Also I really don’t know how subversive a movie can be if absolutely no one saw it at the time.
Oh and I’m putting a link here to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to the Parallax View which was part of BBC’s Kennedy night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kyjK214s-4
And what the hell here’s Cox’s intro to Stone’s Salvador which include some fun thoughts on Platoon and how nauseating liberal film making usually is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKbK9mix-s
August 26, 2016 @ 7:17 pm
I haven’t seen Walker yet, but I’ve listened to the soundtrack more times than I can count. It’s got one of my all time favourite songs on it; Tennessee Rain.
Anthony D Herrera
August 27, 2016 @ 3:05 am
It’s a great soundtrack. My favorite off of it is Machete because it kinda sounds like the music for a Castlevania level.
I might recommend not seeing Walker if you love the soundtrack so much because I have a friend who grew up listening to the Cherry 2000 soundtrack and he finally watched the movie a few years ago and absolutely hated it and said it tainted the experience of the soundtrack. Because of that he refused to watch Explorers with me because he grew up loving that soundtrack as well and didn’t want the same thing to happen. Though if you’re a reasonable person this probably won’t be a problem.
August 27, 2016 @ 9:23 am
Those Alex Cox intros are interesting. I remember watching them back in the day. The Parallax View one is terrible, littered with bad logic and factual howlers, but the Salvador one is pretty good, especially when Cox takes Stone to task for the “You’re just like them!” line. Salvador is probably still Stone’s best film in the normal sense (whereas the JFK/NBK/Nixon triumvirate are his greatest films in the abnormal sense) but Cox is on point about his cop-out. Stone is, ultimately and fundamentally, a liberal… and, like most US liberals, he’s also fundamentally patriotic and worshipful of US power and American exceptionalism, with his hopes invested in a notional purified form of the status quo (i.e. once all the black-eyed demons have been cleared out and ahem the Republic is reclaimed from the Empire). Hence his ultimate inability to fully support a people’s insurgency, whatever his sympathy.
August 27, 2016 @ 11:42 am
Here’s a debunk of the supposed trail of mysterious deaths of people connected to the assassination: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/deaths.htm and here’s a full account of the deeply unreliable Nagell: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/nagell1.htm
August 27, 2016 @ 11:49 am
Oh, and by the way, Dorothy Kilgallen never had a private interview with Ruby (she had a brief exchange with him in a courtroom), there’s no evidence she’d discovered anything new, and her death was considered natural by the medical examiners.
Anthony D Herrera
August 28, 2016 @ 3:06 pm
Thanks for those links and clearing stuff up. Cox is a big conspiracy theorist and doesn’t seem to care much about basic facts in his historical films or even some of his other intros so I’m not surprised most of that is Hogwash.
August 28, 2016 @ 11:03 pm
Just to throw it out there, John McAdams is a right-wing nutjob who is under investigation for serious ethical lapses at his university. That doesn’t make him wrong on matters involving the assassination, and his website is considered by pretty much everyone on all sides of the JFK assassination debate to be among the best web resources on the various points of view.
August 29, 2016 @ 9:31 am
I did not know about McAdams, but I checked the reputation of the site before citing it.
August 28, 2016 @ 9:29 pm
Wow. Moviedrome. There’s a flashback trapdoor. My VHS version of ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ and ‘Terminator’ recorded from the TV had Alex Cox intros on them.
September 1, 2016 @ 8:38 am
I recall being very annoyed with Cox when he introduced Excalibur, because he somehow mysteriously failed to realise that it was perfect and clearly one of the greatest films ever made.
Hey, I was young once.
August 31, 2016 @ 6:19 pm
An hour and twenty minutes into the podcast, and there really is nothing else to say but: Jack! You gloriously daring bastard!
September 1, 2016 @ 8:30 am
I like you. You can stay.