Medium Cool (15)

Saturday 1 Jun

Film Details

Part of the series MOTHER CUTTERS.

A carefully crafted, open-to-everything mixture of live wire reality and controlled narrative, Medium Cool is the debut fiction feature of Haskell Wexler, who had already established himself as one of Hollywood's premiere cinematographers in the post-studio system-era on such films as Elia Kazan's America, America and Mike Nichols’ Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In 1968, he hurled himself into the tear-gas of the cultural-political moment. The result was, alongside Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider, a seminal early work of what came to be known as "the New Hollywood".

John (the prolific Robert Forster, who would find latter-day fame in Jackie Brown, Mulholland Drive, and Breaking Bad) plays a television cameraman who has become disenchanted as a creative subservient to the mainstream. Eileen (Verna Bloom, latterly of High Plains Drifter and After Hours) depicts a newly relocated war-widow swept up in the maelstrom of the conflicts of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago - the actual events of which serve as the spontaneous backdrop for Wexler's picture.

The picture was edited by Verna Fields, with Assistant Editor Marcia Lucas (then Marcia Griffin).

On Verna Fields’ editing: Seen decades later, the film's impact is still quite powerful, and one of the main reasons is Fields' strong, confident, and fearless editing that captures those "fragmented bits of hostility, suspicion, fear, and violence" with great skill. We don't simply see the chaos and conflict, we actually feel caught up in it - tossed about, if you will - the editing often jerking our focus from one line of dialogue, action, or scene to another abruptly, unexpectedly, and sometimes harshly. Fields' work represents a major contribution to the overall impact of Wexler's film. - Women Film Editors, David Meuel

Director: Haskell Wexler

Cast: Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 110 minutes

Book Tickets

Saturday 1 Jun

Book 18:00

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