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Looking Back 40 Years

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 14, 2008 2:20PM

2008_8_14chicago68.gif Beginning next Friday, Facets is hosting an unprecedented retrospective of films dealing with the roiling events of the late '60s. In fact there are so many amazing titles included in the lineup that it's a shame we have to settle for a summary. The epicenter of "40 Years After: Filming the '68 Revolution" is Chicago's 1968 Democratic National Convention, when thousands of protesters and police in riot gear clashed on Michigan Avenue. Several programs of vintage shorts by the likes of Kartemquin Films and Tom Pallazolo are featured as well as the crucial semifictional masterwork Medium Cool. It's the definitive look at Richard J. Daley's Chicago. If you haven't seen Medium Cool yet, you'd better be there on Thursday, August 28.

There are also documentaries about the Black Panthers (including the highly-acclaimed The Murder of Fred Hampton), Vietnam, Berkeley, RFK, Czechoslovakia and the disruption of the 1968 Miss America pageant. On the fictional side there's May Fools, a satiric look at the turmoil in 1968 Paris, directed by Louis Malle; and the far-out comedy Wild in the Streets. The latter is a '68 exploitation quickie that imagines a 22-year old pop star being elected President and imprisoning everyone over 35 in LSD concentration camps.

There's really something for everyone here, including a panel discussion on August 23 about the continuing effects of 1968's turmoil. Kudos to Charles Coleman for putting it together.

image via Sixties Project