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Trailers from Hell: Karaszewski Talks 'Medium Cool'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood August 13, 2012 at 12:35PM

Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski ("Man on the Moon") kicks off the week for Trailers from Hell with Haskell Wexler verite classic "Medium Cool":
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Medium Cool

Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski ("Man on the Moon") kicks off the week for Trailers from Hell with Haskell Wexler verite classic "Medium Cool":

Combining electrifying cinema-verite documentary footage shot during actual events (including the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago) with a more conventional story featuring actors, director-cameraman Haskell Wexler tried to illuminate the splintering of the American psyche at the height of the war in Vietnam. The resultant film, incongruously distributed by Gulf + Western's Paramount Pictures, both exasperates and astonishes. Some felt it trivialized serious issues, others applauded its hand-held snapshot of a tumultuous time. Originally rated what Wexler labled a "political X" by the MPAA, later downgraded to an R.

This article is related to: Trailers from Hell, Video, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.