A carefully crafted, open-to-everything mixture of live-wire reality and controlled narrative, Medium Cool is the debut fiction feature of Haskell Wexler, who had already established himself as one of Hollywood's premiere cinematographers in the post-studio-system-era on such films as Elia Kazan's America, America and Mike Nichols' Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In 1968, he hurled himself into the tear-gas of the cultural-political moment. The result was, alongside Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider, a seminal early work of what came to be known as "the New Hollywood". John plays a television cameraman who has become disenchanted as a creative subservient to the mainstream. Eileen depicts a newly relocated war-widow swept up in the maelstrom of the conflicts of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago - the actual events of which serve as the spontaneous backdrop for Wexler's picture.