Frederick Wiseman

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I've only seen 'Titicut Follies'. The 'Vietnam' monologue was spectacular. Anyone seen 'Hospital'? Should I break my ass getting ahold of a copy?

dave q, Wednesday, 30 April 2003 10:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Don't break your ass (haha then you would be in an actual hospital) but its well worth seeing. The NFT did a Wiseman retro a couple of years ago which was pretty good - but its not all that easy stuff to get hold of.

Pete (Pete), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 10:23 (sixteen years ago) link

Funny this should come up. There's a Wiseman retro coming to the Film Center in Chicago next week. Domestic Violence recently screened on American public television, but the local affiliate broadcast it in the middle of the day, so I missed out. So I haven't seen anything, which I know means there's a yawning gap in my understanding of documentary film. I like the utilitarian titles of his films after Titicut Follies: Model, Public Housing, Domestic Violence, The Store, etc.

Hopefully I will get myself to a few of the screenings at the Film Center.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:07 (sixteen years ago) link

i think facets video has most of them for sale or rent. the sale prices are extremely high but they rent via mail.

i've seen a lot of disturbing films, but titicut follies is the absolute most disturbing thing i have ever seen.

j fail (cenotaph), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:10 (sixteen years ago) link

I know him not. Again -- info/links?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:22 (sixteen years ago) link

I tend to avoid Facets these days, mostly because it's out of the way but also because the quality of their videos is not exactly dependable. In general it seems to be a very visible, above-ground organization that retains a lot of the less-desirable aspects of something less renowned. Facets began in a church basement, and its video operation began by making (quasi) bootlegs I believe, and they've never quite left that seat-of-the-pants attitude completely behind.[/slander]

Actually seeing films there can be a frustrating experience, since they often have problems with the prints and projectors so you never quite know what (or how long) you're in for.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:23 (sixteen years ago) link

I didn't even realize that Domestic Violence had already screened on PBS. That's too bad, since I missed it at Facets. Anyway, I'd like to catch a screening or two at the Film Center, esp. High School. I'm also woefully ignorant in the ways of Wiseman.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 15:39 (sixteen years ago) link

http://www.zipporah.com/

This is the company that distributes all of Wiseman's films on 16mm (and video as well); I believe it may be Wiseman's own.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 15:45 (sixteen years ago) link

The only two Wiseman films I've seen (and I'm forgetting the titles) was one that appeared to be an instructional training film for a missile silo and another about a poor woman trying to get toner for a photocopier (that she ends up buying herself).

Both were great movies, but pretty heavy viewing

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 16:44 (sixteen years ago) link

i've only seen high school and titicut; HS was a lot "lighter" and actually sort of funny.

j fail (cenotaph), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 17:49 (sixteen years ago) link

C4 in the UK ran a near-complete Wiseman season 10 or more years ago so I've got 'Titicut Follies' on tape somewhere, but I wish I'd taped the rest of it now (at the time it seemed like C4 would ALWAYS be showing this kind of stuff).

Andrew L (Andrew L), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 22:19 (sixteen years ago) link

F@cets is really frustrating right now - I've been (diplomatically) fighting with them over certain things for the past six months. One sad fact I've learned about small business is that when someone has a monopoly on something, there's no pressure to improve the service. And man, does their new website totally suck. Don't even bother with the shopping cart. They know this, too - I've told them a million times. Stick to the mail order if you have to.

I've seen High School 1 & 2 and loved them. I'm so ass-deep in documentary here that I don't even bother to check the rest out - maybe I'll do that this weekend.

Documentaries are extremely expensive to purchase - the Wiseman ones are about $400-500.

Any ?s about film / video buying, you can direct right here.

K#rry, Friday, 2 May 2003 15:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Chicagoans: I'm probably going to see High School tomorrow at the Film Center at 5:15. Let me know if you'd like to meet me there.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 2 May 2003 16:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Unfortunately, I'll be out in the burbs, probably curling up with a Wiseman vhs. Have fun, tho! By the way, downtown edu is open to the public and you can watch all the $$$ docs you want if you ever have some time to kill on a Saturday. You might need another edu id, though, I'm not sure.

K#rry, Friday, 2 May 2003 16:08 (sixteen years ago) link

So I saw both Titicut Follies and High School yesterday. Both were very good, though I was less interested in the implicit "message" of the films ("institutions are dehumanizing") than in some of the individual scenes as compelling pieces of film in themselves.

I was curious, though, about a comment made in the Chicago Reader review of High School (by Dave Kehr): that Wiseman's roving camera, with its "pointless" close-ups, obscured the social issues and was thus "intellectually dishonest." He claims that Wiseman later learned to tame his camera and developed into a better filmmaker. I can understand this point theoretically, but it seems harsh to apply to this example, which I don't think suffered for its camera-work. And doesn't this ignore the fact that Wiseman (or any documentarian) manipulates his films in myriad ways through editing?

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 5 May 2003 04:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I think his point may have been that Wiseman's manipulations in that early film were a bit more, well, dishonest. The scene I always see cited is when the principal (or is it vice-principal) peers into a classroom and Wiseman cuts to a scene of girls in gym class. The message is that the principal is a voyeur, a dirty old man.

I think it's careful to note that even though all documentarians manipulate their material via editing and other means, one shouldn't jump to the fashionable conclusion that all is subjective and there are no more or less truthful documentaries. Manipulations can be in the service of the truth or of lies.

Noël Carroll has a brilliant essay on this issue in a book entitled Post-Theory. I believe it's called something like "The Documentary Film and Postmodern Skepticism." Also worth reading on truth and form in the documentary is an essay in Gilberto Perez's The Material Ghost which touches on Robert Flaherty and Buñuel's Las Hurdes.

amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 5 May 2003 05:16 (sixteen years ago) link

Hmm, for some reason, I missed that shot. (I remember the gym class, but not the principal peering in.)

But I do agree with you about the potential of manipulation to serve truth. The reason I mentioned editing was merely to say that all movies are manipulated in some way, whereas Kehr seemed to be wary of manipulation period.

I'll have to check out the Carroll essay -- I generally enjoy his work, even when I disagree with him.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 5 May 2003 14:28 (sixteen years ago) link

i am conflicted abt his umlaut

mark s (mark s), Monday, 5 May 2003 14:37 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...
He is making a rare public appearance here next week. Shall I go?

Yakuza Ghost Six (nordicskilla), Thursday, 9 June 2005 18:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Fuck yeah!

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 9 June 2005 22:14 (fourteen years ago) link

okay.

the D Double signal (nordicskilla), Friday, 10 June 2005 15:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, that was very interesting.

He said that most of his films are getting DVD releases over the next year, by the way.

the D Double signal (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 14 June 2005 14:27 (fourteen years ago) link

It's almost like I was there!

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 14 June 2005 14:53 (fourteen years ago) link

He said other things, too. With his mouth.

the D Double signal (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 14 June 2005 15:10 (fourteen years ago) link

that's really great news (about the DVDs). i wonder who will be putting them out.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 14 June 2005 15:40 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Is there any update on this? I know that they're available from Zipporah on VHS and cost an absolute fortune, but any sign of DVDs yet? Even just one title would be nice...

Ben Ewart-Dean (DrAlfredNecessiter), Thursday, 17 August 2006 07:07 (thirteen years ago) link

I have no information about it but I just want to say that I once had a meeting with Fred Wiseman in his house; he was wearing a robe and ate spaghetti and didn't offer me any. I was starving.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 17 August 2006 13:16 (thirteen years ago) link

He was starving too, you know.

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 19 August 2006 18:33 (thirteen years ago) link

ten months pass...

Why didn't anyone tell me there was a new Wiseman movie out?

http://www.zipporah.com/calendar/press/7

STATE LEGISLATURE

A new documentary film by Frederick Wiseman

STATE LEGISLATURE shows the day-to-day activities of the Idaho Legislature, including committee meetings, debates of the House and Senate, informal discussions, meetings with lobbyists, constituents, the public and the press. The workings of a democratic government are not of interest solely to Americans, but, because so many countries in the world are currently trying to adopt a democratic form of government, the issues presented have relevance on a global scale. The film is an example of the achievements, values, constraints and limitations of the democratic process.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 28 June 2007 05:37 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

Just watched Public Housing - a revelation, honestly.

Anyone else have recommendations along this line? I added Robert Drew's Primary and Crisis to my queue; any other direct cinema types working today?

vermonter, Saturday, 29 November 2008 01:15 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

i saw meat MEAT once, about 25y ago, and still can remember images.

meisenfek, Friday, 20 February 2009 18:27 (ten years ago) link

eleven months pass...

This has been going on here, gonna try to catch some:

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1028

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 January 2010 19:33 (nine years ago) link

i was actually kinda disappointed when all of this guy's stuff became available because it meant having to sit down and watch it all, rather than just talking about how it was tragic that it wasn't in print.

how long's meat? i have a thing for les sang des betes

schlump, Friday, 29 January 2010 20:01 (nine years ago) link

From whom is it available? the NYPL only holds VCs you have to watch IN the library!

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 January 2010 20:04 (nine years ago) link

last time i was at kim's they had a shelf of his stuff?

schlump, Friday, 29 January 2010 20:06 (nine years ago) link

for purchase btw, not rental
seems like zipporah has put out pretty much all of them, $30 each - maybe a lil cheaper at kim's.

schlump, Friday, 29 January 2010 20:10 (nine years ago) link

ah, I very seldom buy.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 January 2010 20:36 (nine years ago) link

im guessing i shd go see Titicut Follies tonight if I'm not buying, then

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 January 2010 21:23 (nine years ago) link

if you're feeling long-ass documentary fatigue, you can use 'i'll see it on dvd' as the new 'i'll wait until it plays at the cinema'.

schlump, Friday, 29 January 2010 21:28 (nine years ago) link

nine months pass...

Boxing Gym is one of the best things I've seen this year tbh

ralph NAGLer (admrl), Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:12 (eight years ago) link

There are a number of Wiseman films I love--Welfare and Near Death topping the list--but I didn't get much out of Boxing Gym. I just found that an inordinate amount of time was devoted to various people pummelling the practice bag.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 November 2010 17:00 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Just watch The Store! Didn't realize it was going to be two hours long, but still really enjoyed it. Felt like I had spent the day at Neiman's but without having a nice shirt or shoes to show for it. I want to watch more docs like this.

JacobSanders, Monday, 23 January 2012 08:01 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

i finally broke down and t0rr3nt3d a bundle of wiseman films... this stuff just isn't available ANYWHERE to buy or stream.
Already seen Boxing Gym, Missile and Zoo; all so very good. Now I have beat up copies of Public Housing, High School, State Legislature, Meat, Adjustment and Work, Essene, Juvenile Court, Law and Order, Primate, The Store, Hospital, Welfare, Blind, and Titticut Follies. Kinda excited.

let's have sex and then throw pottery (forksclovetofu), Friday, 19 October 2012 06:49 (six years ago) link

u can buy them directly from his company fyi - http://www.zipporah.com/films

johnny crunch, Friday, 19 October 2012 11:40 (six years ago) link

ten months pass...

Hospital is on youtube in a high quality rip, in full.

Johnny Hotcox, Thursday, 22 August 2013 13:50 (six years ago) link

His latest will be at the NYFF

http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/at-berkeley

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 August 2013 13:59 (six years ago) link

opens in US Nov 8

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 29 August 2013 15:31 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Thought At Berkeley was very good. I don’t like every Wiseman film I see--found Boxing Gym a bore, didn’t care for his horse-racing film from the early ‘70s. But I’d put At Berkeley just a notch below Welfare and Near Death.

There’s so much that, unless you were taking notes for a review, it’s hard to summon everything afterwards. (The film runs four hours.) There was a point in the first half where I thought, “This is well made, no surprise, but it’s not the ‘70s anymore, and all those sequences of incredible tension and confrontation that would flare up all of a sudden in Welfare and Hospital, you’re just not going to have that here.” And you don’t; Wiseman never manufactures drama, so mostly it’s an endless procession of meetings and seminars. I don't think Mario Savio's even mentioned for the first couple of hours, and when he finally is, it's at a talk given inside something called the Free Speech Movement Cafe. But it did start to involve me more and more as it went along; the last hour, given over to a student protest/building-takeover concerning fees and other grievances, is not handled like you might expect (especially the resolution), and that’s the hour I’m mulling and puzzling over right now, in the best way possible. I do think Wiseman is editorializing there, but I also know my own personality and biases come into how I viewed his handling of the protest. Maybe he isn’t--I don’t know. From a review I found: “Has Frederick Wiseman, the patient filmmaker whose long documentaries listened to the voices of ordinary people in public housing and on welfare, gone over to the dark side of authority? He clearly gives credence to the Cal executives, but, as ever with Wiseman, he leaves plenty of footage with information that gives you a chance to make up your own mind.” Yes--people will see that hour different ways.

Not a great deal of humour, but three things did made me laugh. A couple of shots of a guy on a John Deere mowing the campus lawns--you need the set-up for that one. There’s one seminar where a white girl identifies herself as “squarely middle-class,” says her mom’s a teacher whose income is stagnant while her own fees go up, and the only support she can get are unsubsidized loans; she starts to cry, and the black girl beside her gives her a supportive “now, now” pat on the shoulder. I don’t think there was any intentional irony there, but I did laugh. And I found it funny when Robert Reich showed up halfway through to lead a class, sharing anecdotes from his Clinton days. There was a jarring disconnect between the world of a venerated documentarian and the much-despised political class. I figured that would be enough right there to ruin the film for some people, and that amused me.

clemenza, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:03 (six years ago) link

From the same Indiewire review: "Another question: Based on the proportion of women filmed by Wiseman in At Berkeley, you might think that the student body was 80% female. That's more a question of taste than reporting chops. Remember, Wiseman is the first person to say he’s not objective. He clearly likes attractive women -- not a sin, even at 83."

Well, at 51, I wasn't immune. Especially noticed the girl to the immediate right of the Thoreau/Emerson lecturer, and Sofia in Reich's class. Shame on Wiseman, shame on me.

clemenza, Monday, 16 September 2013 01:16 (six years ago) link

...

Very gud laser controled organ. (Matt P), Monday, 16 September 2013 04:22 (six years ago) link

feel as much shame as u need to just don't be so fucking creepy about it?

Very gud laser controled organ. (Matt P), Monday, 16 September 2013 04:30 (six years ago) link

Meant as a mild, throwaway joke. No actual shame--just laughing at myself, and laughing at human nature.

clemenza, Monday, 16 September 2013 11:19 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

at berkeley was excellent and sparked a good conversation later on with an activist friend who was in the library that day. she, unsurprisingly, had a different take on the administration than the one the film more or less lands on.

ill never click this homo erotic site again (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 14 November 2013 20:55 (five years ago) link

i haven't seen it yet, but i am extra curious about it for a number of reasons.

in fact, i was explaining that there are different types of documentaries to my students on tuesday and i showed them about 10 min of Juvenile Court and they were visibly repulsed when i turned the lights back on to get their reactions. they were just like OMG THAT WAS SO BORING, like they were going to die of boredom right there in the classroom.

haha

sweat pea (La Lechera), Thursday, 14 November 2013 21:17 (five years ago) link

berkeley IS 4+ hours so you damn well better have a taste for wiseman's patient pacing and subtle subfrequency didacticism if you're gonna watch it. There are a bunch of "wiseman moments" where he juxtaposes the near surreal with the quotidian, like when you jump cut from watching a board room meeting to seeing three women dissecting a vulture. The movie plays like his Tempest; like he's looking back on a long creative life and surveying how modern youth is processing. There's a lot of holistic humanism too, both explicit (lengthy talk about Walden and how any disturbance in the pond sends out ripples but ultimately all is quiet unless you look beneath) and implicit (watch for the single lawn mower!). Workers sweeping stairways and laying water lines don't get to talk but Wiseman's point that "you are what you do" keeps everyone equally anonymous and equally honest (or dishonest). He did a brief skype interview from paris following my viewing and he commented that the only thing they didn't let him tape was the tenure committee meetings and that the administration had no oversight or editing capability on the piece.

ill never click this homo erotic site again (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 14 November 2013 21:31 (five years ago) link

Seems like the most overlooked Wiseman (and I've seen most of them) is ESSENE. If he only made that and PRIMATE, that would have been enough -- retire, you done good.

The Thnig, Thursday, 14 November 2013 21:35 (five years ago) link

i don't like to think that his movies are ultimately about him and his career (rather than his subjects), but maybe at this point, they are? i didn't feel that way about high school 2, which was the most recent one i saw? i think?

sweat pea (La Lechera), Thursday, 14 November 2013 21:44 (five years ago) link

oh, i dunno that's what it really was "about" exactly, it just resonated in that way with me.
prob my two faves are "zoo" and "missile" - the former is almost like a dream and the second is like wandering through an alternate military reality

ill never click this homo erotic site again (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 14 November 2013 22:47 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

At Berkeley premieres on Independent Lens tonight --some reviews here http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/berkeley-reviews

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Monday, 13 January 2014 20:27 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

"National Gallery" is terrific.

Johnny Hotcox, Friday, 7 November 2014 14:45 (four years ago) link

i've been watching CANAL ZONE while i practice speed drills and it's surprisingly dull.

cross over the mushroom circle (La Lechera), Friday, 7 November 2014 14:49 (four years ago) link

man, national gallery is GREAT

Steve 'n' Seagulls and Flock of Van Dammes (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 9 November 2014 16:25 (four years ago) link

boffo ending too

Steve 'n' Seagulls and Flock of Van Dammes (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 9 November 2014 16:25 (four years ago) link

"I’m of the opinion that Duck Soup is a documentary, but I’m not sure how widely shared that is. If you want to understand how government or large institutions work, see Duck Soup."

http://www.fandor.com/keyframe/frederick-wisemans-top-4-documentaries

things lose meaning over time (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 16 November 2014 18:15 (four years ago) link

haw

So beautiful cow (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 16 November 2014 18:23 (four years ago) link

well it's definitely not a comedy

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Sunday, 16 November 2014 20:23 (four years ago) link

why do you say that

schlump, Sunday, 16 November 2014 23:14 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Watched most of Adjustment & Work last night. Classic classic Wiseman, beautiful color too. It looked like I remember 1985-1986 looking too, which I find enjoyable. The guy learning how to walk around the town square and cross 4 streets consecutively while making turns made me feel genuinely nervous for him. Still got maybe 20 min left, but subjects are treated with utmost dignity afaict.

vigetable (La Lechera), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:57 (four years ago) link

I saw him do a Q&A after National Gallery last month; he's in postproduction with a portrait of Jackson Heights, Queens.

things lose meaning over time (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 December 2014 15:49 (four years ago) link

I'd like to see National Gallery once more, at home and with time to pause over all the art talk. There's a lot of it; I drifted for a few minutes about an hour into the film. Gratifyingly, none of it sounded the least bit pretentious to me, or at least not until the woman who reads the poem near the very end. I liked At Berkeley just a bit more than this, but they're of a piece: the talk never stops, the funding may. My favourite images were the simplest, people in repose looking at art. The faces in the paintings were amazing; I sensed an implicit argument that the faces of the gallery goers were just as interesting. I found the dance piece at the end very odd. At first I thought it was being performed for a small gallery group, but it seems to have been created for the film. Very un-Wiseman-like, which was maybe why it was there. The last 30 seconds were perfect.

clemenza, Friday, 26 December 2014 22:05 (four years ago) link

seven months pass...

opening this fall

http://filmforum.org/film/in-jackson-heights-film

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 August 2015 19:44 (four years ago) link

Awesome!

National Gallery is on PBS this week or next, check yr local listings

let's not get too excited w/ the ouches (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 12 August 2015 21:09 (four years ago) link

My next big project is - I'm working with a choreographer on a ballet based on my first film, Titicut Follies. Part of the ballet will be performed at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11. And the world premiere will be in October of 2016 in New York.

Meta Forksclove-Liebeskind (forksclovetofu), Friday, 21 August 2015 20:23 (four years ago) link

RollOnYouBears123 1 point 5 hours ago
As a graduate film student focused on documentary, I've been very much inspired by your body of work.
What is your advice to aspiring documentarians looking to make a career out of documentary filmmaking?

FrederickWiseman 3 points 4 hours ago
Marry rich.

Meta Forksclove-Liebeskind (forksclovetofu), Friday, 21 August 2015 20:24 (four years ago) link

hahaa, true

cannot believe there's going to be a choreographed titicut follies
that's beyond what my brain can comprehend

La Lechera, Friday, 21 August 2015 20:27 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

IJH is playing in DC this weekend as well as NYC

http://www.zipporah.com/films/44

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 November 2015 18:02 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Film Comment reported he's been shooting at the 42nd Street library.

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 3 February 2016 17:11 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Basic Training, not surprisingly, is far from the hyper-stylized set pieces and confrontation you find in most of even the greatest war films. (Not my favorite genre, I'll note.) You get the more mundane side of basic training instead--and when generals and such dress down recruits, they don't have veins bulging in their foreheads, it's done with mild condescension and sarcasm. Also not surprisingly, the black recruits get the worst of it. I'm sure it's a film that had more resonance when it appeared in '71, in the wake of Cambodia, Kent State, and Nixon's ongoing machinations--there was probably a disconnect, too, because of how mundanely and un-cartoonishly the military brass is presented. I liked it, but not as much as Hospital or Juvenile Court, which bracket it, and by the time of Welfare four years later (which I just re-watched), Wiseman's working at a whole other level.

clemenza, Sunday, 17 April 2016 13:52 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

In Jackson Heights is the 2015 film I most wish I'd seen in the theater (it never screened here).

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 August 2016 03:09 (three years ago) link

I'm annoyed that I missed it in theaters also.

This is starting up next week - have planned my next few months around it:
http://www.cinefamily.org/films/the-complete-works-of-frederick-wiseman-pt-1-1967-1976/

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 17 August 2016 08:15 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

honorary Oscar! the shame got to them.

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 September 2016 14:45 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Primate was this weekend's film at Cinefamily's Wisemen fest - I wish I had a picture of the audience faces when *that* scene came up.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 17 October 2016 03:24 (two years ago) link

Such a great scene. You keep thinking it can't go farther, and it keeps going farther. One of his best, most morally conflicting films.

The Thnig, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 19:24 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

Film Forum in NYC launches first half of their complete Fred retro

http://filmforum.org/series/the-complete-wiseman-part-i-early-wiseman-series

also, somehow, Titicut Follies[ is now a ballet (at Wiseman's instigation).

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 14:49 (two years ago) link

Just missed the chance to see that here:

http://www.jsballet.org/16-17-season

insidious assymetrical weapons (Eric H.), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 14:51 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

Ex Libris is very much of a piece with At Berkeley and National Gallery: the day-to-day flow of what happens there, mixed with endless meetings where board members try to figure out ways to secure funding and keep the institution operational. I've thought all of Wiseman's recent films with the exception of Boxing Gym were great, and this one is too. I will say, though, that he finds more interest in those meetings than I do. They have to be there, but after 20 years of staff meetings and workshops and P.D. days at my job, my meeting enthusiasm-meter is at nil. It's a language and a way of interacting I can't hear anymore.

clemenza, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:44 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Monrovia, Indiana
is straight out of a Faulkner novel. Tribulation and death in every scene.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 27 October 2018 19:43 (ten months ago) link

fuck bbcode - go see this

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 27 October 2018 19:44 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I liked it more than the last two NYC features. He really makes meetings about hydrants and benches count.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:34 (ten months ago) link

His rhythm was off by a few minutes this time, but distinguishing great from good Wiseman is silly. Watch it, ILX!

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:35 (ten months ago) link

I thought the library and Jackson Heights were both, by his standards, a little shapeless. The ending really sticks here.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:37 (ten months ago) link

who needs a remake of The Loved One, right?

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:38 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

I've been waiting forever on Monrovia, Indiana; just googled the title + Toronto and discovered it played for three days in October. How I missed that, I have no idea. I feel terrible about this--may not get another chance short of a Wiseman series at the Lightbox or a ridiculously expensive DVD.

clemenza, Sunday, 30 December 2018 22:38 (eight months ago) link

Do you have Kanopy access? There are about 40 Wiseman films on there right now; Monrovia not yet, but I'd guess that it's coming.

jmm, Monday, 31 December 2018 03:55 (eight months ago) link

That actually worked, I'm signed up--thanks. Monvoria's not on there yet, but with so many Wiseman films, right up to the last few, I assume it will be soon.

clemenza, Monday, 31 December 2018 20:29 (eight months ago) link

that's the medium through which I saw High School at last

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 31 December 2018 20:45 (eight months ago) link

three weeks pass...

really urge those who have not yet seen Monrovia, Indiana to do so

and then listen to this analysis, around 27 mins in

http://www.thecinephiliacs.net/2019/01/2018-countdown-with-keith-uhlich-part-1.html

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 21 January 2019 17:47 (seven months ago) link

six months pass...

Monrovia, Indiana has been added to Kanopy. Will make an effort to watch it soon--but then I said the same thing about State Legislature, also on Kanopy, and never followed up. I hate the idea of watching a film on a computer screen.

clemenza, Saturday, 17 August 2019 15:13 (one month ago) link

State Legislature is so good!!! Get your hands on a projector and watch it on a wall or something. So many meetings!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 17 August 2019 15:58 (one month ago) link

Just got Monrovia in the mail & am really looking forward to it.

Saw State Legislature in a theater and it felt like I was really there at those budget debates!

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Saturday, 17 August 2019 16:29 (one month ago) link

Finally watched Monrovia over coffee this morning, one of his best. The funeral at the end got me so hard. Fave part though was when it cut to the meeting of the town council for the first time, and the lady goes “Now about this new BENCH...” I was like oh hell yes Fred, give me that sweet sweet meeting content.

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Saturday, 31 August 2019 03:14 (two weeks ago) link


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