10 Things I Learned: Medium Cool
By Abbey Lustgarten
Paramount executive Peter Bart originally contacted cinematographer Haskell Wexler about directing what would be his first feature, a film adaptation of the novel The Concrete Wilderness, about a photographer who moves to New York City and meets a young boy who shares his interest in wildlife. But after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and the growing resistance to the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War, Wexler told Paramount he’d make the film but it would take place in Chicago, with the Democratic National Convention at its center. All that remains of the original story in Medium Cool is the man, the boy, and some pigeons.