Medium Cool – Haskell Wexler (1969)


Medium Cool is a 1969 American drama film written and directed by Haskell Wexler and starring Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill and Harold Blankenship. It takes place in Chicago in the summer of 1968. It was notable for Wexler’s use of cinéma vérité-style documentary filmmaking techniques, as well as for combining fictional and non-fictional content. The movie was met with widespread acclaim from numerous critics, including Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel of Siskel & Ebert, both calling the movie a ‘well-crafted masterpiece.’ The movie was also named one of the greatest movies of 1969, as well as one of the most influential movies in the new age of Hollywood. Robert Forster was also met with universal acclaim for his performance.  …  John Cassellis is a television news cameraman. In one of the opening scenes, a group of cameramen and journalists are discussing the ethical responsibilities within their profession: When should filming a gruesome scene end and human responsibility to try to save a life begin? As viewers we are presented with issues such as violence as spectacle, political and social discontent, extreme racism, and class divisions. The film is constantly juggling documentary footage with feature film image. Among his sources, Wexler uses footage from military training camps in Illinois for military troops preparing for planned demonstrations by students and anti-war activists during the Democratic National Convention later that summer. …”
Wikipedia
Criterion (Video)
Roger Ebert
NY Times – Real Events of ’68 Seen in ‘Medium Cool’:Haskell Wexler Wrote and Directed Movie By VINCENT CANBY (August 28, 1969)
YouTube: Medium Cool (1969) [trailer]

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This entry was posted in 1968 DNC, Chicago Eight, Movie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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