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John Cassellis is the toughest TV-news reporter around. His area of interest is reporting about violence in the ghetto and racial tensions. But he discovers that his network helps the FBI by letting it look at his tapes to find suspects. When he protests, he is fired and goes to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Written by
When the film was released on video, Paramount was sued by the copyright holders of the song "Merry-Go-Round". Under their 1969 agreement, Paramount had rights to the song for showing the film in theatres and on television. Paramount argued that video release was the same as television broadcast. The courts ruled that the copyright holder in 1969 could not have considered videocassettes to be like television broadcast, as home videocassettes were not invented. See more »
Interesting approach to revealing the world of photo-journalism, news journalism, and political activism, conceived and directed by awardwinning cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Fictional narrative features a Chicago TV news crew intertwined with actual news footage in and around the Democratic Convention of 1968.
There is a good balance between the fiction and non-fiction elements in as much as Wexler attempts to make his point. The fictional story line (a love story) is real enough to keep us watching and deflective enough to make the harsh realities of the non-fiction elements palatable.
Attention to detail defines Medium Cool as a very personal film for Wexler. There definitely is a political perspective. Second and third viewings will call attention to painstaking perfectionism in construction of shots, timing, and pace--the subject matter and cinematic approach (low budget, hand-held, docu-style) may suggest a `student film' so don't be confused. This is an extremely well-crafted highly professional product. Nice interjects of great era-defining music compliment the visuals.
Inventive, some say ground-breaking, certainly well worth watching.
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