The Ethical Camera

Related Exhibition Exposed

Friday, March 4, 2011
7:00 p.m. Medium Cool
9:30 p.m. Blow Up

The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco

Medium Cool
Notable for its cinema verité style, this 1969 film by Haskell Wexler mixes fictional and nonfictional content to poignantly illustrate the great social tension in America in the late 1960s. Following a television cameraman whose specialty is obtaining footage of violent, difficult events, the film sheds an interrogational light on Marshall McLuhan's description of television as a “cool” medium by investigating the hot moral dilemmas as faced by the protagonist. Print courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Blow Up
Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language film, inspired by Julio Cortazar's 1959 short story "Las babas del Diablo," or "The Devil's Drool," documents a fashion photographer who finds himself inadvertently involved with a murder. While walking through the park one afternoon, the photographer photographs a pair of lovers embracing on a bench, much to the fury of the female subject, who follows him home and demands to see film. The woman's insistence drives him to develop the film with alacrity, only to discover an image in the background of a man with a gun, stooped over a body. After going back to search for the body, he returns to his apartment to find that his film has disappeared. The film's mysterious twists and turns lead the viewer to a contemplation of spectatorship, privacy, and discovery. Print courtesy of Warner Brothers.


Introduced by Haskell Wexler

Additional Info

Medium Cool, Haskell Wexler, 1969, 111 min., 35mm
Blow Up, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966, 111 min., 35mm

Image: Haskell Wexler, Medium Cool (still), 1969; photo courtesy Photofest NYC