1064 The Parallax View

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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hearthesilence
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#26 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:13 am

Is there a prevailing conspiracy theory on who was actually responsible? So many have been thrown out there, it's been difficult for me not to be skeptical, but maybe the crazier ones have been separated from the more viable theories?

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Never Cursed
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#27 Post by Never Cursed » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:20 am

Surely the two most prominent ones are the Mafia (supposedly in retaliation for the failure of the Bay of Pigs landing) and the Soviets (as a response to the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis), both of which have substantive motivational issues

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#28 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:25 am

If widespread disbelief of the Warren Commission’s report is news to anyone, I am assuming you are either young or not from the states

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Drucker
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#29 Post by Drucker » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am

When I saw this film at Film Forum, it was intro'd and selected by Larry Wilmore who chose it as he was a self-professed believer in JFK conspiracy theories (or at least had done some research about them). Count me in as a skeptic! The parade route change detail is primarily what makes me a skeptic.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#30 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am

Never Cursed wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:20 am
Surely the two most prominent ones are the Mafia (supposedly in retaliation for the failure of the Bay of Pigs landing) and the Soviets (as a response to the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis), both of which have substantive motivational issues
My friend who has self-reportedly read every book on the subject (and I believe it...) has thrown out a few possible theories but his "most likely" is that a small room of five-ish people including LBJ made the call. It's been many years since I heard him out on the 'why' of that, so unfortunately I can't explain further. My dad, who disbelieves any and all conspiracy theories and even denies the "magic bullet" improbability (though, as an avid NRA member and marksman, I tend to believe his unique knowledge of how bullets work) has always said he believes it was driven by the mafia. That isn't mutually exclusive from my friend's theory, or several others, though.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#31 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:37 am

This article tracks public perception of the assassination and notes that the highest the belief in a conspiracy ever polled was 81% in 1976. So yeah, I don’t think there’s much risk in Criterion including an extra discounting the official version

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#32 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:42 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am
Never Cursed wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:20 am
Surely the two most prominent ones are the Mafia (supposedly in retaliation for the failure of the Bay of Pigs landing) and the Soviets (as a response to the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis), both of which have substantive motivational issues
My friend who has self-reportedly read every book on the subject (and I believe it...) has thrown out a few possible theories but his "most likely" is that a small room of five-ish people including LBJ made the call. It's been many years since I heard him out on the 'why' of that, so unfortunately I can't explain further. My dad, who disbelieves any and all conspiracy theories and even denies the "magic bullet" improbability (though, as an avid NRA member and marksman, I tend to believe his unique knowledge of how bullets work) has always said he believes it was driven by the mafia. That isn't mutually exclusive from my friend's theory, or several others, though.
Elements of the CIA in conjunction with the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans is a frequent one. I don't remember reading investigators who argued for the Soviets.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#33 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:52 am

Executive Action already showed us Robert Ryan did it

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#34 Post by cdnchris » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:29 am

Cox's interview was bonkers, but I think it conveyed the why around paranoia thrillers having such appeal and were being churned out during this period. Obviously he's the target audience.

I laughed it off when I viewed it because I remember falling down that rabbit hole a bit in my teens. It also made me miss these types of conspiracies, which seem so much simpler (and at least more believable) over Satanist politicians who eat the brain stems of babies in pizza parlour basements.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#35 Post by beamish14 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:52 am

Rayon Vert wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:42 am
therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am
Never Cursed wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:20 am
Surely the two most prominent ones are the Mafia (supposedly in retaliation for the failure of the Bay of Pigs landing) and the Soviets (as a response to the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis), both of which have substantive motivational issues
My friend who has self-reportedly read every book on the subject (and I believe it...) has thrown out a few possible theories but his "most likely" is that a small room of five-ish people including LBJ made the call. It's been many years since I heard him out on the 'why' of that, so unfortunately I can't explain further. My dad, who disbelieves any and all conspiracy theories and even denies the "magic bullet" improbability (though, as an avid NRA member and marksman, I tend to believe his unique knowledge of how bullets work) has always said he believes it was driven by the mafia. That isn't mutually exclusive from my friend's theory, or several others, though.
Elements of the CIA in conjunction with the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans is a frequent one. I don't remember reading investigators who argued for the Soviets.

My late father was a physician who specialized in infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS. He needed empirical evidence to believe in anything, and for him, there simply wasn't any that Oswald could have conceivably killed Kennedy. He told me that investigators had utilized the talents of Olympic sprinters to run down the stairs of the Dallas Book Depository in the time that Oswald would have needed to, and there was no way in hell that they could even do it. Oswald's service record also indicated that he was a shit marksman.

Most American history textbooks nowadays skip Oswald completely and instead focus on the impact of the assassination.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#36 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:50 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am
...even denies the "magic bullet" improbability (though, as an avid NRA member and marksman, I tend to believe his unique knowledge of how bullets work)...
I actually do remember a friend experienced with guns (specifically for hunting) who clarified this point. The way you see it portrayed in Oliver Stone's JFK is supposedly laughable even to longtime conspiracy theorists. IIRC, someone misinterpreted the "turns" describing the bullet's path as a linear turn, the way you would picture a car turning as it moves down a street. In actuality, the turns are meant to describe a rotation, where the bullet began to spin or twirl after making impact. It was explained to me that this is fairly ordinary, and it's also another way in which bullets cause massive damage to human tissue - the bullet doesn't necessarily make a full rotation before it leaves the body, but as it rotates into an angle that's more perpendicular to it's general path, it basically slices through more tissue than you'd like. So long story short, the misinterpretation sounded like the root cause of the "magic bullet" concept when more accurately the bullet was still moving in a relatively straight path (I think it angles a little bit as the bullet is entering and leaving body parts) and most of the change in movement actually involves a rotation.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#37 Post by Big Ben » Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:51 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:25 am
If widespread disbelief of the Warren Commission’s report is news to anyone, I am assuming you are either young or not from the states
Yes I confess I'm mystified about older people's perceptions about it but I'm a pretty hardline skeptic. Given the time period though I completely understand why people felt and feel that way.

I've always felt that films like The Parallax View capture a particularly fascinating part of the human brain which is it's inability to process probability well. People want and crave context because it's comforting and knowing that a particular or perceived social ill is most certainly being caused by "X" is a strangely comforting feeling. It's just that it's not always valid and can be greatly influenced by human fallibility and bias particularly in times of great societal disenfranchisement.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#38 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:20 am

cdnchris wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:29 am
Cox's interview was bonkers
I wouldn't be surprised if some of his more colorful ideas about how Bush planned 9/11 are on Criterion's cutting room floor.
domino harvey wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:37 am
This article tracks public perception of the assassination and notes that the highest the belief in a conspiracy ever polled was 81% in 1976. So yeah, I don’t think there’s much risk in Criterion including an extra discounting the official version
Yeah, I guess Cox's ideas, at least the ones about JFK, are not as controversial as I'd thought.

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tenia
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#39 Post by tenia » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:56 pm

Big Ben wrote:I'm under the (admittedly personal) impression that the real reason people believe in the JFK Conspiracy is because somewhere deep down it's difficult for them to accept the most powerful man in the world was killed by a single individual. Kind of wonky that Criterion let Cox's nonsense be on the disc.
It is more generally a now known cognitive bias : big events must have big causes. This fuels the utmost majority of the current conspiracy theories, being political, economical or scientific (or, usually, all of these together). Indeed, JFK's assassination falls pretty much within this realm : it can't be a crazy guy in a country full of guns and a president in an open roof car, it HAS TO be more than that.

Not that it can't be, but part of people heavily looking into it this way comes from this bias specifically.
MichaelB wrote:There's a Bulgarian professional bassoonist called Svetoslav Atanasov who was born in 1974 and moved to the US after 1997. I can't discount the possibility that there's more than one, but on balance it seems unlikely.
That indeed might fit his profile.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#40 Post by CriterionPhreak » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:22 pm

I have a question about the color bar screen on Criterion Blu-rays in general. I can't post new threads in any of the Criterion sections, so I'm posting it here. Does the color bar screen on these Criterion BDs need an update? The bottom right of the screen is supposed to show a barely visible black bar and an obviously visible, lighter-color bar. That is how a pluge pattern is supposed to work. But on the Criterion Blu-rays made the last few years, the bottom right of the color bar screen simply shows total blackness, with the two bars practically invisible. I have to calibrate my TV using other tools such as Disney WOW and online test patterns. While those tools always show my TV is correctly calibrated for the pluge patterns, every time I watch a Criterion Blu-ray, its color bar screen always shows total darkness at the bottom right. I always leave it the way it is, and the movie would look perfect to my eyes, showing that my TV has the right calibration. That wasn't the case in the past: old Criterion DVDs and even LDs would show a functioning pluge pattern that I could use to calibrate my old CRT TV. So my question is: is Criterion using an old, outdated color bar screen?
Last edited by CriterionPhreak on Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#41 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:29 pm

My favourite JFK moment in film is that great sequence in Richard Linklater's Slacker that goes into JFK conspiracy theorists writing their own books about the subject (with the figure here in process of writing a book he is either going to title "Profiles in Cowardice" or "Conspiracy-a-go-go"!), which ties in interestingly to a number of other characters in the world of that film, from the shut-in guy monitoring all the television broadcasts to the genial old gentleman who takes a young attempted robber under his wing to teach him about Anarchists and the Charles Whitman shooting spree.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#42 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:04 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:29 pm
My favourite JFK moment in film is that great sequence in Richard Linklater's Slacker that goes into JFK conspiracy theorists writing their own books about the subject (with the figure here in process of writing a book he is either going to title "Profiles in Cowardice" or "Conspiracy-a-go-go"!), which ties in interestingly to a number of other characters in the world of that film, from the shut-in guy monitoring all the television broadcasts to the genial old gentleman who takes a young attempted robber under his wing to teach him about Anarchists and the Charles Whitman shooting spree.
Good call. I've never looked into it too deeply, but Linklater seems to be a guy who's fascinated by conspiracies and the kind of people who believe in them...but falls short of believing in them himself. I never heard of Alex Jones until I saw him in Waking Life and it's more creepy than funny to see his scenes now, but Linklater has talked about it in recent years, saying he never thought Jones would become so destructive or dangerous. At the time, he simply thought Jones was this funny guy who was interesting in a harmless way.

(FWIW, I was taken aback when it was reported, or at least suggested, that Linklater showed a 9/11 conspiracy documentary to Bruce Willis, who was shaken enough that he seriously believed it was an inside job perpetrated by the U.S. government. I was going to post about it, but when I went looking for the same article, I found a correction by the Guardian that states: "The director Richard Linklater did not screen a 9/11 conspiracy documentary for the cast when he was making Fast Food Nation, as suggested below. He would like to make clear that he has never believed 9/11 was an inside job by the US government.")

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#43 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:25 am

Sounds like somebody got to him! :P

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#44 Post by Fortisquince » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:41 am

Linklater is QAnon.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:38 am

Big Ben wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:51 am
I've always felt that films like The Parallax View capture a particularly fascinating part of the human brain which is it's inability to process probability well. People want and crave context because it's comforting and knowing that a particular or perceived social ill is most certainly being caused by "X" is a strangely comforting feeling. It's just that it's not always valid and can be greatly influenced by human fallibility and bias particularly in times of great societal disenfranchisement.
The Parallax View specifically targets this psychological process well
SpoilerShow
by making Frady both totally right in his ideas about the conspiracy and also partially blind by his own obsessive attention to particular contextual elements thereby eliminating peripheral truths and causing his own demise. I always find myself most entranced by the middle section of the film involving the psychological tests of a sociopath and Frady's committed performance in the presence of Younger to sell himself as a perfect assassin. It's absolutely thrilling to watch, even if part of me remains skeptical in disbelief that any government agency would hire people so erratic to do such an important job. I initially wondered if the writers just had dated ideas of appropriate psychology for this kind of work, lumping deviant behavior together lazily, and then... it's all revealed to be a ruse, self-reflexively stringing us along right there with Grady, using film language to keep us tensely consumed into Grady's preferred narrative. These people are so solipsistic that they are not perfect assassins but instead the perfect patsies, and that's something that the Gradys and the Oswalds (and film audiences, fellow volunteers to be manipulated) have in common: their perspective is so narrow that they are vulnerable to missing the bigger picture, even if it remains in step with the broader thesis they subscribe to- we just can't get out of our own way once we start down that rabbit hole.

It's mankind's curse- from the psychopaths to the perceptive 'healthy' skeptics- to be fallibly drawn into one's own egocentricity; which begs the more interesting and disturbing questions: Are the more erratic and violent mentally ill people actually not the largest threats? Are they actually more like 'us', creatures driven by emotion, compared to those methodically detached from emotion making 'logical' choices behind the curtains? Could that kind of sociopathy actually be more dangerous than the less predictable kind, and if so, what does this say about our tendency to pathologize and alienate the eccentrics when members of this 'logic'-heavy population exist all around us functionally in day-to-day life without prejudice? Are our emotions weaknesses or strengths? This film certainly provokes a grey non-answer to that last one.

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