Monday, July 7, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful

On a lazy Fourth of July afternoon we finally had a chance to dig into our our Netflix and watch Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool (1969, trailer above, check it out). It stars Robert Forster as a cameraman in Chicago who meets a single mother, played by Verna Bloom (who you might know from such roles as the boozily scorching Mrs. Dean Wormer in Animal House). Forster's character covers various local news events and eventually the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and the story is intertwined with actual footage of that and the riots that went with it. It's a visually beautiful film—one of those, like Easy Rider or Cool Hand Luke or Killer of Sheep that makes you love and hate your country in a really melancholic, mixed-up way. (Trying to explain things like this makes it clear I am not a writer... just trust me, it's good.)

Chicago blues-funk heroes Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield and others provide a really stellar, psychedelic-Bullitt kind of score, with one interlude from the Mothers of Invention that I'm hoping I can find on vinyl some day.

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