Voices

50 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by an unknown gunman, we look into some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories that have arisen since his death.

Film wins award

The film, In The Name Of The Father - starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerard Conlon, one of the Guildford Four - has won the Berlin Film Festival's 'Golden Bear' award.

Bafta nominations

Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List has been nominated for 13 Bafta movie awards. Remains Of The Day, In the Name Of the Father, Shadowlands and The Piano are also nominated.

CINEMA / Jim Sheridan's rage of innocence

THERE ARE truths the average movie-goer grasps that the average newspaper columnist can miss. In the Name of the Father (15), Jim Sheridan's account of the wrongful imprisonment of the Guildford Four, which has outraged the commentators, deals in such truths: it's emotionally honest, even if factually misleading. What audiences, rightly, respond to is the uneasy relationship between Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day- Lewis) and his dad, Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite), coaxed into conciliation by jail, and the numbing horror of incarceration. The film is about a father, a son and the holy ghost of a chance of getting justice when England is in a moral panic.

TELEVISION / The critics

Mark Lawson's Screenplay 'The Vision Thing' (BBC2): 'It was amusingly done, but when are writers going to outgrow this puerile fantasy that politicians are power-crazed and will stop at nothing to achieve their objectives?' Max Davidson, Daily Telegraph

JFK papers 'a footnote to history': A foray into assassination documents reveals no new smoking guns - but conspiracy theories stand

CASE UNSOLVED. Still. Two hours buried in drifts of previously classified documents on the assassination of JFK at the National Archives, and this newspaper has no new insights to offer. Would more time help? Probably not.

FILM / Truth and the American way: Reel life, but not as we know it: Hoffa, hard on the heels of Malcolm X, profiles the legendary hardman of the American unions. It should be filed under 'M' for myth rather than 'D' for documentary, argues Richard Combs

When Hoffa, a bio-pic about the controversial American labour leader Jimmy Hoffa, opens here on 19 March, it will solve a 20-year-old mystery. In the bitter, bloody strikes of the 1930s, Hoffa fought for the truckers' union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. By 1957, when he became its president, he had made it the most powerful union in the US, and furthered its interests by 'investing' with organised crime.

FILM / Stations of the cross

We see a hand in huge close-up, in a black glove. Abruptly the forefinger points to one side. The soundtrack exaggerates, so that we actually hear the creak of the glove leather as the finger makes its move. Obediently, the praetorian guard of the Nation of Islam turns and files away, so that what was a formidable crowd a moment ago, demanding justice, becomes a confused mob without its paramilitary front line, and melts away more or less of its own accord.

Malcolm X in the Black Country: Chris Arnot revisits Smethwick, where the Black Power leader claimed coloured people were being treated 'like the Jews under Hitler'

Malcolm X did not mince his words after he stepped out of a BBC car into Marshall Street. His message was almost apocalyptic. 'I have come,' he told the press, 'because I am disturbed by reports that coloured people in Smethwick are being treated badly. I have heard that they are being treated as the Jews were under Hitler.'

TELEVISION / BRIEFING: A man with X appeal

Friday sees the release of Malcolm X, so before getting involved with Spike Lee's agenda, you might want to check out SEVEN SONGS FOR MALCOLM X (9pm C4), Black Audio Film Collective's account of the assasinated activist. Following him from zoot-suited jail-bird to child of Islam, their film is at its best when 'X' is let off the analytical leash and allowed to talk for himself, and on his legacy to young blacks today. 'He told the truth in an unvarnished, ruthless manner; and it's still a valid analysis,' says Thalani Davis, who contributes comment along with Spike Lee and Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz (who join Oprah Winfrey this Thursday). Whether young blacks will find much validity in the film's rather dated agit-prop style is a different matter - actors in static poses; captions like 'the hour of bondage' and 'a revolutionary remembers his childhood'. Get with the programme, guys, for, as Nietzsche nearly said: 'Godard is dead'.

Hollywood hype meets an Irish icon

THE HOLLYWOOD star might have expected a warmer welcome for the news that he is about to shoot an epic production in Ireland. But there is far from universal delight in Dublin at Kevin Costner's plans to direct and star in a film on the life of the nationalist hero Michael Collins.
Voices
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