JFK:  History on Film; The Biopic

 

--As docudrama:  where/how is the balancing in JFK of actual material and melodramatic form?

 

          As melodrama:  who is the weaker, victimized party here?

 

          Is there the kind of moral clarification we associate with melodrama?

 

--As historical film:  what ethical issues arise?  Why?

 

--As historiography:  what claims does JFK make (and how does it do it) about:

         

          --“facts”

 

          --knowledge

 

          --inquiry

 

          Is the “outlaw history” Oliver Stone says he presents in JFK empowering?

 

--How does JFK (as history) support Rosenstone’s argument that history is constructed?  What does the film say about the process of formulating history?

 

--What are the conventions of historical film?   How do these function in JFK?

 

--Rosenstone says “history must be fictional in order to be true” (p. 70)—how does this idea apply in the case of JFK?

 

--To what extent is JFK a biopic, according the conventions of that kind of film outlined by George Custen? 

 

--What are the kinds of warrants evident in the classic biopic?  Are they at work here?