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Directed by Haskell Wexler

United States 1969 111 mins. In English

Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler’s (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Days of Heaven) directorial debut is one of the most radical experiments of ’60s new Hollywood and one of the finest films of the period. The film follows disillusioned news cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Forster) as he moves from careerist opportunities to political radicalization following the revelation that his company provides information to the FBI. As Cassellis prepares to film the famous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, he meets Eileen and her son Harold, and the trio’s fates converge around and within the very real riots at the convention. Merging exhilarating, often brutal documentary footage shot by Wexler with Cassellis’s story, “Medium Cool is a film remarkable for its insistence that no one exists outside of politics, whether one experiences it as a backdrop to daily life (a wrinkled Bobby Kennedy poster in a cramped apartment) or as a nightstick to the gut.”—Thomas Beard.

Genres: Drama

Appears in: Print the Legend



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.