Overnight Thread ("November 22, 1963" by Errol Morris)

Errol Morris is one of America's finest documentary filmmakers, and I consider his 2003 The Fog of War one of my all-time favorites. He has a remarkable talent as an interviewer, in knowing how to draw details out of his subjects, of bringing us closer to the truth...or the "truth," which is often evasive, elusive, dark. No other subject matches that description better than the JFK Assassination, which continues to haunt us half a century later.

I have no patience for conspiracy theories, which Terence McKenna once described as eschatological cartoons - "As soon as I hear the words, 'ex-NASA scientist,' I reach for my revolver." If you bring up Area 51 or Bigfoot, I'll head for the exits. And if you bring up 9/11, I'll probably hit you with a rolled-up newspaper. But JFK...something dark and sinister went down in Dallas that morning. What, exactly, and why? I couldn't answer those questions to save my life. I only know that the quote-unquote, "official" story is absurd and logically impossible. Beyond that lies an infinite morass of half-truths and half-lies.

This short film, a "doc-ed" for the New York Times website, discusses that day in Dallas with noted author Josiah Thompson, of "Six Seconds in Dallas" fame. It does not entertain conspiracy theories or offer fantastic solutions to the great puzzle. It quietly reflects a few basic facts, contemplates their meaning, and meditates on they mystery. The more one examines a crime, the clearer the events that transpired become. This crime has only become murkier, darker. We witness a titanic shift of history, but cannot explain it.

Ah, well. A bit of a speech for an arts and movie blog. But that's what the arts are supposed to do.


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