The Sticking Place

Our Time: Arlo and Chicago

Vincent Canby
The New York Times,
16 December 1969

The title is a rather fuzzy play on Marshall McLuhan’s description of television as the cool medium (as opposed to movies as the hot medium) but is made pertinent by the fact that the film’s hero, played by Robert Forster, is a television cameraman who, like most newsmen, simply records events without thought of taking part in them. In the course of covering such news stories as the assassination of Robert Kennedy and Resurrection City, and doing feature stories on Chicago’s dispossessed, Forster begins to question his own lack of involvement. A climax of sorts is provided by the cameraman’s emotional commitment to a young Appalachian widow and her 13-year old son, and by the confrontations at the Democratic National Convention.

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