Medium Cool

Haskell Wexler’s late 60s socio-cultural critique revolves around Robert Forster playing John Cassellis, a TV news cameraman who gets tangled up with media politicking. His individualism is sallied also by the bond he develops with a single mother and her son, before he finds his arrogance and indifference–steeled by his dedication to his trade–shaken by the events of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. This is a quintessential late-60s time capsule piece–with Wexler brilliantly fusing the direct cinema of Wiseman/Drew/Pennebaker with the psychedelic cinema that Antonioni/Schlesinger and others were experimenting with at this time. Medium Cool is an under-appreciated piece of cinematic spitfire.

Grade: A-

Directed by: Haskell Wexler
Written by: Haskell Wexler
Cast: Robert Forster, Peter Boyle, Christine Bergstrom, Harold Blankenship, Verna Bloom

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