Raging Bull is an unforgettable portrait of man who seemed to lack the capacity and imagination to ever be happy. It’s not a film you watch to be uplifted or reassured about the human condition. The most pleasant thought you can take away from the story of Jake La Motta (Robert DeNiro) is how fortunate you were not to be one of his friends. Or him.
Oliver Stone‘s JFK is a movie as admirable in its technique as it is troubling in its agenda. Much like Birth of a Nation sought to rewrite the early history of the original Ku Klux Klan, JFK represents a concerted effort on Stone’s part to insert certifiable falsehoods into the historical record of the Kennedy assassination. He gets two basic facts correct. John F. Kennedy was indeed assassinated on November 22, 1963 and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison did actually prosecute businessman Clay Shaw for his role in an alleged conspiracy. After that, the facts and Mr. Stone have a strained relationship at best. I sincerely hope that this movie will be as routinely dismissed by future generations as Birth of a Nation is today.