The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All Medium Cool News
All Critics (21)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (4)
Medium Cool is an awkward and even pretentious movie, but, like the report of the President's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, it has an importance that has nothing to do with literature.
Moviemakers have at last figured out how bright the average moviegoer is. By that I don't mean they're making more 'intelligent' pictures. I mean they understand how quickly we can catch onto things.
This brilliantly uneasy film has a sharp enough sense of its own paradoxes to shake off as naive the very questions it raises.
The film doesn't exactly end, because it's not so much a narrative as it is a mile-marker and a warning.
Despite the 1968 conflict(s) dating the film to a very specific time and place in American history, there's nothing that can't be applied to what's going on today, especially with the new relevance of video images on computers and handheld devices.
a quintessential late-60s time capsule piece
Wexler may have been going after something "cool," but what he came up with is smoking hot cinema that puts Jean-Luc Goddard to shame.
An interesting time capsule essay film that takes us back to the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and its police riot.
The mass media message is still relevant in this groundbreaking 1969 film.
Blending fact and fiction, Wexler's seminal zeitgeist docu-drama, shot during the Chicago riots of 1968, raises intriguing questions, just like Antonioni's Blow-Up.
Skillfully manipulates viewer expectations of fiction and nonfiction.
Whatever its weaknesses, they are easy to forgive since Medium Cool represents a pioneering slice of cinematic history.
A TV journalist becomes disenchanted with his bosses in the mainstream media, while simultaneously romancing an Appalachian mother whose husband was killed in Vietnam. Thanks to a powerful performance by Robert Forster and a lucky accident (when riots broke out at the 1968 Democratic Convention, director Haskell Wexler was able to shoot his actors mingling with real life protestors and National Guardsmen---the crew was even tear-gassed), this became one of the great anti-authoritarian/agitprop movies of the hippie era.
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