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Top Customer Reviews
Much of the film, of course, is improvised. Improv is often a frightening word when it comes to film making. It seems to be a talent that a lot more people believe they have than actually do.Read more ›
I saw 'Medium Cool' the week it opened and I probably wasn't the only one who considered it a revolution in film making and figured it would be the first of many such films that tied documentary and narrative film together, but sadly there were no more 'Medium Cool's' to follow, or no more 'Easy Rider's' either.
The Amazon review is totally uninformed in describing what happened in Chicago. The only 'riot' that happened were the police riots that repeatedly attacked the protesters and anyone else who happened to be in their way. And very few of us considered ourselves to be hippies by that time. I know because I was there and that's me on the cover of the DVD carrying a red flag. Interestingly Haskell -- who I became friends with many years later -- is still at it. I was marching down Hollywood Boulevard in an antiwar protest at the beginning of the Iraq war and looked up just in time to see Haskell in the crowd pointing his DVD camera at me. There was no tear gas this time, no rioting cops, and no machine guns set up on the streets. I wasn't carrying a red flag and my hair has long since turned to gray, but some some basic things never change.
This picture tells it like it was as only the world's greatest cinematographer could have done it.Read more ›
It's an accidental masterpiece. Director Haskell Wexler's original intentions were to (via filmic terms) view the various sides of the media as relating to Marshall McLuhan's famous "hot medium/cool medium" essay. In this case, he corraled a bunch of actors (some of whom were associated with the Chicago improvisational scene), gave a loose story line and filmed it around the unfolding events at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention (with a few accidental stops in Los Angeles & Washington). Wexler attempted to put the actors into the roles of television men & everyday people and, basically, leave them with their own improvisational devices. Tus, this is where "Medium Cool" develops.
Maybe upon first viewing it in 1969, the performances didn't hold up, but more than thrity years later, everyone involved (even right down to the smallest part) has to be commended. This film is more than an experiment, or even a time capsule, but a true countercultural event. This is a film that not only teaches a thing or two about the times (1968), but also serves as a great study on media and it's truths & manipulations. It's also a great acting lesson of what improvisational acting truly should be...risk-taking with a high degree of failure (and NOT the cutesy-poo clever laugh inducing theatre that it's been reduced to...more later). You want a true example of play actors facing a REAL reality situation? Well, look no further...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an incredible film I've admired for years and it is such a treat to (finally!) be able to own this gorgeous Criterion Blu Ray edition. Mr. Wexler is one-of-a-kind. Read morePublished 9 months ago by TamiTaylor
Finally, the release with all of the special features I've been waiting for! A culturally relevant snapshot of a pivotal time in American history.Published on August 26, 2013 by Amazon Runner
Takes place during the Democratic Convention of 1968 and tells the story of a reporter who finds that the FBI is pulling some dirty tricks during the social unrest of that period. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by H. Drummond
Medium Cool lives up to its unconventional title due in part to the ambitions of Robert Forster, whose character lives for capturing news for the public eye, sometimes before the... Read morePublished on June 15, 2013 by John Cockerton
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