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Entertainment Peter Bart Puts Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Chicago 7’ On Trial & Contrasts It With Last Yippie Film, Haskell Wexler’s ‘Medium Cool’

01:45  02 october  2020
01:45  02 october  2020 Source:   deadline.com

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a 2020 American legal drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin . The film follows the Chicago Seven

Haskell Wexler ’ s 1969 film was revered because it bridged the gap between fiction and nonfiction filmmaking. Sorkin ’ s approach in The Trial of the Chicago 7 reportedly is at According to historic accounts, the Yippie principals hated each other as much as they detested the party establishment.

a group of people walking down a street © Netflix; Everett

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Aaron Sorkin tends to build movies around disturbing ideas rather than empathetic protagonists, thus revisiting tense courtrooms and raucous newsrooms. The price: Sometimes the characters get buried by the rhetoric.

His new movie, The Trial of the Chicago 7, opens this week at a propitious time when “serious” cinephiles are complaining about the absence of ‘serious’ films.

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Sorkin ’ s Chicago 7 , which Sorkin was also writing in addition to directing, centered around the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the counterculture protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Aaron Sorkin ’ s ‘ The Trial Of The Chicago 7 ’ Secures Key Deals For Rocket Science At The EFM, Production Rocket Science reps international with CAA Media Finance repping U. S . Chicago 7 has long been a passion project for Sorkin and will mark his second film as director after he made his

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Sorkin’s provocative film will likely satisfy that appetite: Chicago 7 offers an unrelenting glimpse of 1960s turmoil, its yippies, revolutionaries and random exhibitionists, all of it steeped in contemporary subtext. The government heavies are Trumpian. The debates focus on the tactics and morality of protest.

Sorkin likes his actors to vent, and his cast is well suited for that exercise, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance and Joseph Gordon-Levitt among them. The film’s release strategy itself is a unique exercise: Paramount shepherds the three weeks in theaters, leading to a Netflix unveiling starting October 16.

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Sorkin will direct from his script. The news should bring a huge sigh of relief for Sorkin after the film was shelved last The movie is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven men charged by the federal government with Marc Platt is producing the pic and CAA Media Finance negotiated the deal.

Oscar-winner Sorkin (“ The Social Network”) wrote and directed the timely history lesson “The Trial of the Chicago 7 ,” which tracks the The film will also follow the ongoing conspiracy trial , dominated by bigger-than-life protest leaders Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong)

Chicago 7 may thus stir pre-election debate in varied quarters, even if prospective voters may find its subplot distracting. That’s because the movie reminds us of the Democratic Party’s epic clumsiness in mounting an effective campaign against Richard Nixon.

Ironically, the first movie dealing with the 1969 Chicago trial, titled Medium Cool, so outraged powerful Democrats that party leaders effectively scuttled the film’s distribution (more on that later).

But the two movies are a study in contrast. Medium Cool, shot in 1968, focused on a photojournalist who became enmeshed in a passionate love story, its fate caught up in the political frenzy of the moment. Chicago 7, a generation later, instead is preoccupied with political issues and legal outrages rather than personal stories.

Medium Cool, directed by Haskell Wexler, a Chicago-born cinematographer, reflected the color and disarray of the ’60s — the sex, drugs and, most of all, the anger stirred by Vietnam and the draft. Against this canvas, the cast of stoned poets, crazed yippies and disoriented revolutionaries seems occasionally comical and even marginally empathetic.

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With Aaron Sorkin ' s next directorial effort now at a new home, Netflix has unveiled a first look at the new A year later, seven individuals, dubbed the Chicago 7 , were charged by the federal government under the Revealed in the imagery from Sorkin ' s film are Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, Oscar

That is the message reinforced throughout the teaser trailer for writer-director Aaron Sorkin ' s all too timely new Netflix film The Trial of the Chicago 7 . What followed was eight activists (the case against Yahya Abdul-Mateen II' s Bobby Seale was eventually separated) being put on trial for

In Chicago 7 there are random references to ‘60s assassinations (Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King) and to draft quotas, and even the rise of Black power, but they seem almost abstract. Still, Sorkin knows how to write strong performances and audiences will relish the counter-culture natterings of Baron Cohen (as Abbie Hoffman) and Jeremy Strong (as Jerry Rubin) as they argue about the errant strategies of ‘60s protest. Or the pleading reminders from Redmayne (as Tom Hayden) about his passion to stay out of jail. To Hayden, the overriding battle was about Vietnam, not the Chicago police force.

Had Chicago, led by Mayor Richard Daley, accommodated the protesters and granted them permits, and had Democratic leaders come together on a strong candidate, the famous trial might never have happened. Instead, the disarrayed convention produced the bland candidacy of Hubert Humphrey, ultimately delivering the country to Nixon. Today’s audience may be discomfited by predictable parallels to the present.

But here’s where the fate of the two movies diverged: Democratic leaders were determined not to allow Medium Cool to darken the image of their party. The chairman of the party’s finance committee was an influential member of the Paramount board of directors. Then, as now, Paramount Pictures had come up with the initial funding for the movie., but there were suspicions: Was there an anti-Democrat plot at the studio that may have prompted release of this “dangerous” picture?

Wexler, it was known, hated Daley and hoped the party would nominate a candidate far to the left of Humphrey. The film had gotten its greenlight from Robert Evans, who was famously apolitical, and from me — I had been the former New York Times reporter who had written extensively about the political rise of Ronald Reagan and who had become close to him. Was there a bias?

Two days before its release date, the entire ad and promotion budget for Medium Cool suddenly disappeared. So did most of the theater bookings. Reviews were strong, bit the box office numbers were weak.

To be sure, Chicago 7 is eliciting far more resolute support from the studio and from Netflix. The timing of its release should stimulate media attention, and so should its stalwart cast.

And now, more than ever, protest is a towering topic in a political climate that is more contentious than ever.

Former King Crimson Bassist and Singer Gordon Haskell Dies at 74 .
Former King Crimson bassist/singer Gordon Haskell died last week at age 74 following a year-long battle with lung cancer. “Great, real English character with a fantastic, dry sense of humor,” Rogowiecki says. “Felt underrated and I agreed with him. He was as good as Gregory Porter but never made it in America.”Though Haskell never performed live with the long-running prog rock band, his short tenure included playing on the band’s third studio album, 1970’s Lizard, as well as on the song “Cadence and Cascade” from their second album, that same year’s In the Wake of Poseidon.

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