Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 6, 2014



March 6, 2014

In Tokyo, there is a film and literary festival based around the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy will be held on November 22.  The festival will include the films by William S. Burroughs that were made with Gysin, Sommerville and Balch, Francis Coppola’s “The Conversation, ” Alan J. Pakula’s “The Parallax View, ” and Bruce Conner’s “Report” among other titles.  There will also be readings and conferences regarding the Zapruder film.  Of course anyone who goes to this festival must be frisked, x-rayed, patted down, and turn in their library card, so one can check out what book titles were lent out and etc.  The highlight of the festival will be a live re-enactment of the Kennedy shooting that will take place in Shibuya, on Meji-Dori, which is a large street in the city, but still small with respect to size and width when you compare it to Dallas.   But it's not the accuracy that’s important, but the feeling behind it. 

The National Noh theater will be doing their own version of the Kennedy assassination on their stage in Roppongi by slowing the whole narrative to seven hours.   Viewers are allowed to move around the stage so they can position themselves to see better and also get multi-views of the incident that is probably one of the most significant and horrifying moments in my life.  Also it is reported that the English band The Human League will be doing a special performance of their song “Seconds” which deals with the time-frame of the actual killing of President Kennedy.  The price of ticket is ¥22,000 or for Americans who show their passport, a discount ticket for $22. 
For 51 years, I have been haunted by what happened that afternoon on November 22, and now I want to go to a festival to purge all the negative feelings I had since the death of our President.  JG Ballard tried to do this with his great work of fiction “The Atrocity Exhibition” but there is still a need to face the tragedy head-on, in a sense we all need to get into a car and smash through all the illusions that were built up from that specific date.  They’re even getting a Beatles tribute band to acknowledge the innocence and the need for entertainment during the early 1960s.  There is also the theory that the Kennedy assassination started the 60s as if it was a flame near a sea of gasoline. 



I often feel like Cyrano de Bergerac, with a big nose, but while reading Ring Lardner’s great short story collection “You Know Me Al,” I realize that the illusion is very much part of life, without it the imagination would be useless.  Perhaps all of this was only a dream, and we’re sharing the same images over and over again.   The Zapruder film may be the last great “American” film ever made. 
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