Having shot films like Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night and Mike Nichols’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (for which he won an Oscar), Haskell Wexler had already established himself as a foremost Hollywood cinematographer by the time he directed Medium Cool. For this, his first feature, Wexler was both plunging into the politics of the moment and relating to audiences the strange power and excitement of looking at the world through a camera lens. In this excerpt from a new interview with Wexler included in the Criterion release, the filmmaker describes his passion for the medium itself, the origins of Medium Cool, and his own history of political activism.
Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema
For Philippine master Lino Brocka, casting a mix of nonprofessional and professional actors was key to achieving his brand of unvarnished naturalism.
This Kiss: Filming an Intimate Moment in The Virgin Suicides
What goes into staging the perfect on-screen kiss? Director Sofia Coppola and actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett look back on shooting a passionate make-out session in The Virgin Suicides.
“Perfect Imperfection”: Neil Young Improvises Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch filmed Neil Young recording the score for his 1995 revisionist western. Watch a bit of the never-released footage here.
Discovering the Jazzy Sounds of Paul Whiteman
Musician Michael Feinstein talks about discovering Paul Whiteman, the wildly popular bandleader who stars in the early-Technicolor musical King of Jazz.
Playing with Color and Light in Women in Love
Cinematographer Billy Williams talks about his experience creating the lush images and expressive lighting in Ken Russell’s boldly stylized adaptation of Women in Love.