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.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.