Medium Cool (1969)
A detached TV news cameraman and a warmhearted Appalachian woman are engulfed in a wave of fear and violence during Chicago's 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Cast and Information
Directed By: Haskell Wexler
Written By: Haskell Wexler
Where to Stream
Medium Cool belongs to 28 collections
1. Criterion Collection (collaborative: moderated by caffe - 165 stars)
2. Psychotronic Film and Video Guides (collaborative: moderated by Gregzilla - 40 stars)
3. National Film Registry (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 30 stars)
4. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2012 revision) (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 25 stars)
5. Criterion Collection (Blu-ray) (collaborative: moderated by epiphany - 20 stars)
6. The Story of Film: An Odyssey (collaborative: moderated by rant1229 - 20 stars)
7. They Shoot Pictures' Recommended Viewing (collaborative: moderated by Cinephile - 19 stars)
8. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2011 revision) (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 14 stars)
9. Doubling The Canon (collaborative - 13 stars)
10. Journalism (collaborative: moderated by djross - 9 stars)
11. Doubling The Canon (2010 update) (collaborative: moderated by MMAlpha - 5 stars)
12. Filmsite.org - Sex in the Movies, An Illustrated History (collaborative: moderated by afx237vi - 5 stars)
13. Revolutionary Films (public: ABUNCHOFCATS - 5 stars)
14. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2007 revision) (collaborative: moderated by Scottathon - 4 stars)
15. edkrak films to see (public: edkrak - 4 stars)
16. They Shoot Pictures ex-Top 1,000 (collaborative: moderated by MMAlpha - 3 stars)
17. Coheed's Films I Need To See Or Try To Track Down (public: Coheed - 3 stars)
18. Criterion Collection (Blu-ray and 4K) (public: PepeCamello - 3 stars)
19. Cinematography by director (collaborative: moderated by iconogassed - 2 stars)
20. Chicago (collaborative: moderated by djross - 1 star)
21. Roger Ebert's Top 10 Films of 1969 (collaborative - 1 star)
22. David Blaine's favourite films (collaborative: moderated by iconogassed - 1 star)
23. Photographed by Haskell Wexler (collaborative: moderated by iconogassed - 1 star)
24. Age of Aquarius (collaborative: moderated by davidysteph)
25. 1969: Year in Review (public: polanski28)
26. Filmspotting Ratings Project: Week 30 (public: PeaceAnarchy)
27. Tom's Movies (public: tomwalsh)
28. New Beverly Cinema (public: xmoffx)
Browse the full list of collections
Is it just me, or did Forster look a bit like Josh Hartnett in this? Anyhow, as a time capsule this is no less than a well-deserved classic. However, if you're the demanding type like me who wants a good story to go with the semi-documentary bits, you're pretty much shit out of luck. The extended scene in the black people's apartment was very good, though - hands down the best part of the film.
A really interesting movie and pseudo documentary about the social situation in the US in 1968. Forester does a good job of carrying the movie through its shifts in tone and the entire thing is full to the brim with commentary on society and journalism. The whole thing never completely comes together though, leaving a very good but not quite great movie.
There's a lot of fascinating facets about this film. Haskell Wexler writing and directing a spookily prescient screenplay, the Godardian flourishes, the blend of fiction and documentary, the Zappa music, the racial observations and commentary on the media. It's got a lot going for it and makes for an interesting portrait of the time. But occasionally Wexler's ambitions run amok, and certain moments are far too clever, too much of a wink at the audience. Nonetheless, a rather good watch.
Interesting and innovative first half--managing to tell a story and keep it going without really having any characters in the conventional sense. Second part is less successful, trying to incorporate regular-type story into the mix. Of course the final couple minutes is classic--right down to the iconic last shot.
I like the ending.
Seems a little preachy and quaint after all these years, but the cinematography is great and the scenes of the riots in Grant Park are as thrilling today as they were then. A great experiment, but not a great film.
This film has the late 1960's written all over it. There are some slow spots and there is not much of a conventional plot. But there are some interesting moments and scenes. Robert Forster is good in his role. Overall I would recommend this film.
The closest comparison would be a dumbed down Godard, but it's a sincere effort that captures something about the political mood (i.e the chaos and confusion) of its turbulent time. The mix of film and faux documentary is very effective, and Wexler alternates between these modes with reasonable skill, blurring the lines between them. The media commentary remains relevant, generally, although the hyperintensified digital media world of today inevitably requires a more sophisticated critique.
|Average Percentile 60.79% from 213 Ratings|