The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, July 20-26

Medium_Cool

Medium Cool (1969)
Directed by Haskell Wexler
Is there any film as relevant to the current state of America? Set in Chicago and shot during the months leading up to the ’68 Democratic National Convention, the film follows a television news cameraman (Robert Forster) as he records the city’s unrest. He justifies his passivity with the demands of his profession; the station hired a technician, not a social activist. But his detachment towards his camera’s subjects begins to wane after he learns that his station is cooperating with the FBI. Wexler combines fictional storytelling with documentary footage, blurring the boundary between real and fiction until the film’s conclusion—an extended sequence shot amidst the DNC riots—poses the question: when witnessing unjust violence, is it ethical to be a passive spectator? A.J. Serrano (July 23, 4:30pm at BAM’s “Four More Years: An Election Special”)

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