Medium Cool


Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:00pm
St. Louis Public Library

It’s 1968, and the whole world is watching. With the U.S. in social upheaval, famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler (“In the Heat of the Night,” “Bound for Glory”) decided to make a film about what the hell was going on. “Medium Cool,” his debut feature, plunges viewers into the moment. With its mix of fictional storytelling and documentary technique, this depiction of the working world and romantic life of a television cameraman (Robert Forster) is a visceral cinematic snapshot of the era, climaxing with an extended sequence shot right in the middle of the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. “Medium Cool” is as prescient a political film as Hollywood has ever produced. Although not released till 1969, the Zeitgeist-capturing “Medium Cool” is part of SLIFF’s Golden Anniversaries: 1968 program. The Guardian writes of the film: “Combining fiction and documentary, in a manner that consciously brings both into question, it examines the way the media operate, the responsibilities of those employed in broadcasting and news journalism, and the highly confused state of America at the height of the Vietnam war.”

110 min.

Directed by

Haskell Wexler



Film Category

Archival Presentations Golden Anniversaries: 1968


Media Policing/Criminal Justice Politics


With an intro and post-film discussion by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Calvin Wilson.