Haskell Wexler on Medium Cool
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.