Medium Cool (1969)


“If I gotta be afraid in order for your argument to work, then you got no argument.” – John Cassellis

Number of Times Seen – 1 (31 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A cameraman more interested in getting the shot than caring about what is happening gets personally involved in the political situation of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago which changes everything for him.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before coming across it.

When looking at this film on a whole, the way it is shot is much better than the story that they are trying to tell.

The plot and characters are very underdeveloped and we don’t really get to know enough about any of them in order to care about what happens to them.

The very first scene of the movie states the philosophy of it all by showing how reporters care more about the visual images of the story than to care about the people involved in it.

The film does a great job injecting fictional characters into real events in a way that we truly believe that they were really there.

They are able to show us how it is possible for a reporter to look at things from a whole different perspective and not allow emotion to get involved when dealing with a story.

Robert Forster is superb in the lead role even though we never really get to know much about him or his life beyond a superficial one.

This is actually true about every one of the characters in the movie and that hurts things.

They are able to shoot this film in a documentary style which helps enhance things because it comes across as being more realistic that way.

Bottom Line – Film that is shot really well despite the lack of a real plot. The first scene is able to emphasize the philosophy of the main character and his colleagues. They do a nice job of injecting fictional characters into a real event that makes us really believe that they are right there dealing with everything going on. The film is able to show us how some reporters are able to look at events from a higher plane without having to use their emotions when dealing with things. Forster does a nice job in the lead role despite the fact that we don’t really get to know him or any of the characters for that matter on a deeper level.  The film is shot in a documentary style which works to make things feel more realistic.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When the film was released on video, Paramount was sued by the copyright holders of the song “Merry-Go-Round” by Wild Man Fischer. Under their 1969 agreement, Paramount had rights to the song for showing the film in theaters and on television. Paramount argued that video release was the same as television broadcast. The courts ruled that the copyright holder in 1969 could not have considered videocassettes to be like television broadcast, as home videocassettes were not invented. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “Medium Cool (1969)

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