In Alan J. Pakula’s 1974 film The Parallax View, Warren Beatty plays a seedy journalist who goes undercover to investigate the links between the mysterious Parallax Corporation and a series of recent political assassinations. The film is a masterpiece of a paranoia, the type of film that makes you want to check under your bed for listening devices before you go to sleep in the morning. In the film’s most famous sequence, Beatty — pretending to be a job applicant (read: potential assassin) for the Parallax Corporation — is shown an orientation film that has been designed to test whether or not he’s a suitable applicant. This film turns out to be a nightmarish montage of rage, insecurity, fear, Oedipal psychosis, and — oddly enough — comic book super heroes. The montage is shown in its entirety, without once cutting away to show us Beatty’s reaction. The implication, of course, is that what’s important isn’t how Beatty reacts to the film but how the viewers sitting out in the audience react.
So, at the risk of furthering the conspiracy, here’s that montage.
(By the way, Oswald acted alone.)