Look Out, Haskell, It's Real: The Making of 'Medium Cool' (2001)

Genres - Film, TV & Radio, History  |   Sub-Genres - Social History  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States  |  
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

In the summer of 1968, cinematographer Haskell Wexler went to Chicago to shoot his first directorial effort, a drama about a television news cameraman who finds it difficult to remain objective about the events surrounding him. Wexler intended to use the National Democratic Convention being held in the Windy City as a backdrop, but as clashes between anti-war protesters and the Chicago police force became violent, Wexler and his cast and crew found themselves caught in the middle, and the violent skirmishes and their aftermath at once informed the film's content and became a vital part of its subtext. Look Out Haskell, It's Real! The Making of "Medium Cool" is a documentary that tells the story behind one of the most acclaimed and original American films of the 1960s; director Paul Cronin includes interviews with Wexler and many of the members of his cast and crew, while also featuring outtakes from the film recently discovered in storage at the U.C.L.A. film archive. A "work in progress" version of Look Out Haskell, It's Real!: The Making of "Medium Cool" was screened at the 2001 Edinburgh Film Festival on a double bill with a restored print of Medium Cool itself.



Democratic-Convention, filmmaker, political-demonstration