110 minutes, U.S.A., 1969, Colour, 35mm

This film screened on Thursday 20th  August 2015. 

With a title derived from Marshall McLuhan’s description of TV as a ‘cool’ medium, Wexler’s feature debut as a director, shot during the Democratic National Convention demonstrations in Chicago in 1968 is a pioneering, seminal work. With a plot that weaves fact into fiction, the film follows news cameraman John Cassellis, impervious to the material he shoots until he discovers the station he works for shares footage with the FBI. Directed by a gifted, experienced cinematographer, Medium Cool unsurprisingly boasts spectacular camerawork that is creative and unpredictable, making for a work that, as Vincent Canby observed, “has an importance… that has nothing to do with literature.”

This screening is part of Anger is an Energy: Cinema of Protest, our season throughout August that features films – from a range of time periods and national cultures – that examine how some of cinema’s most creative and daring directors have tackled and responded to sociopolitical dissent.

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