Kicking off the number one position in the Cool & Moody set, this Filmakr LUT-based filter is named after cinematographer/director Haskell Wexler.
Wexler is inspiring to us as someone who has mixed documentary and fiction openly extending the questioning of the ability of cinema or television to convey truth to essentially passive viewers. Beginning with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, his handheld work picked up from the French New Wave and Cinema Verite of the time fits into the often handheld nature of smartphone filmmaking as we see it. Wexler’s 1969 Directorial debut Medium Cool is renown as one of the first films to purposefully blend fact and fiction. In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Questioning the role and responsibilities of television and its newscasts, the film’s title comes from Marshall McLuhan’s work in which he described TV as a “cool” medium. The “cooler” the medium, “the more someone has to uncover and engage in the media” in order to “fill in the blanks.” The Filmakr Wexler Filter pretty much is a visualization of this film’s title: it’s a crisp, cool blue.
Utilizing Eastman Kodak’s fast new 5254 film stock, cast and crew could shoot in almost any conditions without the use of cumbersome lighting equipment. Wexler and other camera operators often recorded on the fly and even snuck into the Chicago DNC with help from Warren Beatty. The end result was a smartly-edited and revolutionary film that continues to inform, provoke and entertain.
Watch this 2012 interview with Wexler talking about what he was up against creatively and politically in making Medium Cool.
More on Medium Cool here: https://www.criterion.com/films/28426-medium-cool
Medium Cool (1969) – first scenes
Medium Cool (1969) [trailer], directed by Haskell Wexler