The Sticking Place

Medium Cool

Paul Arthur
Cineaste, Summer 2002

Perhaps the whole world wasn’t watching; nevertheless, Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool (1969) was among the most talked about and, arguably, most influential American movies of the late Sixties. Lacking the commercial clout of Easy Rider, the radical cachet of Robert Kramer’s Ice (both 1969), or the rock-star buzz of Gimmie Shelter (1970), Wexler’s fiction-documentary hybrid claimed heated attention on three fronts: de facto censorship, formal innovation, and utopian visions of industry reform.
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