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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:22 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one years ago) link

i am conflicted abt his umlaut

mark s (mark s), Monday, 5 May 2003 14:37 (twenty-one 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 (nineteen years ago) link

Fuck yeah!

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


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

It's almost like I was there!

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

He said other things, too. With his mouth.

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

He was starving too, you know.

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

ten months pass...

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


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 (sixteen 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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...

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

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

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

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

ah, I very seldom buy.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Friday, 29 January 2010 20:36 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (twelve 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 (eleven years ago) link

u can buy them directly from his company fyi -

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

His latest will be at the NYFF

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

opens in US Nov 8

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


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

thought that film was inscrutable

Dan S, Saturday, 23 April 2022 00:32 (two years ago) link

I like that he moves methodically from subject to subject

going through them chronologically, the next one for me is Missile (1988)

Dan S, Saturday, 23 April 2022 00:44 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

"Frederick Wiseman Goes Fictional for the First Time - After nearly 60 years of non-fiction filmmaking, Wiseman tells IndieWire why he picked "A Couple" as his first fiction film."

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 22 August 2022 20:15 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

I am about halfway through a VHS rip of The Garden, his doc about Madison Square Garden filmed from '97-98 that is apparently his only currently suppressed film. James Dolan apparently withdrew legal permission to release it due to scenes of MSG execs plotting labor negotiation strategy (more info here: It would no doubt have been up there as one of his most colorful and accessible films were it released, and Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mary J. Blige among others would officially be considered Wiseman vets.

Chris L, Monday, 12 September 2022 04:50 (one year ago) link

A couple months back I asked one of the hosts of Wiseman Podcast (big, big recommendation for this BTW - better than all film podcasts) if they were going to cover The Garden - they will and apparently the film will get an official release next year.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 12 September 2022 05:49 (one year ago) link

Whoa, cool; thanks! I think I follow the Wiseman podcast guy on Twitter but have not checked it out yet.

Chris L, Monday, 12 September 2022 06:01 (one year ago) link

If you check out any episode, listen to their interview with Wiseman himself. It's good and covers a lot of subjects that I haven't heard in any other interviews with him.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 12 September 2022 07:17 (one year ago) link

I'm in the middle of Belfast, Maine right now. Heavy, miasmic, rough road of American gothic but some of the scenes are among Wiseman's best.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 12 September 2022 07:40 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

(I love that he's into Down By Law)

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 9 November 2022 21:19 (one year ago) link

Love that clip. Going to guess he and Jarmusch know each other, but if not, can you imagine sitting there and watching this and hearing Frederick Wiseman say he loves your film and he's seen it six times?

clemenza, Thursday, 10 November 2022 01:13 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Watching “Central Park” over the last few days.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 01:28 (one year ago) link

Early takeaway: I would like to visit this park, but, um, not in the late 1980s.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 01:31 (one year ago) link

We watched City Hall over the weekend and I sorta think it should have been called Mayor??

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 05:08 (one year ago) link

Early takeaway: I would like to visit this park, but, um, not in the late 1980s.

The Midnight Oil show wasn't that bad!

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 27 December 2022 09:04 (one year ago) link

It was nice to see LeVar Burton!

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 1 January 2023 03:51 (one year ago) link

And yeah, the Midnight Oil performance is great!

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 1 January 2023 03:57 (one year ago) link

Damn, people seemed to love Ed Koch.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 1 January 2023 04:13 (one year ago) link

Happy 93rd birthday today Fred!

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 2 January 2023 02:42 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (2009), the last Wiseman joint shot on film and the first in a wide format (though interestingly 5:3 rather than 16:9 or 1.85 like the films that follow) is a good deal weirder than you might expect going into it.

— arlin golden (@cerealburrito) May 13, 2023

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 16 May 2023 07:34 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Watching “Missile”.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 1 July 2023 23:28 (eleven months ago) link

worth turning on the subtitles on that just for the “bland music “ cues

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 1 July 2023 23:37 (eleven months ago) link

Kinda electric to encounter “Planet Claire” and “Pop Music” in Model.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 9 July 2023 19:44 (eleven months ago) link

And … there’s Andy Warhol!

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 9 July 2023 19:46 (eleven months ago) link

We had to pause Crazy Horse midway through because I outbursted with "this is Fredrick Wiseman's verison of the James Bond opening credits!" and then we wondered what a Wiseman James Bond movie would even be like - we made up more and more preposterous and funnier scenes. Frederick Wiseman's UNIVERSAL EXPORTS: Endless meetings with photo-interpreters, do we/do we not burn fuel on the spy satellite to get a better photo? Lots of one sided telephone calls, many pained looks into screens, others repetetively cleaning up audio transcriptions. A janitor empties the paper shredders and burn bags and night, Bond himself is never direcly on camera, we only see him through drone overheads and surveillance video.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 11 July 2023 07:27 (eleven months ago) link

Will never forget the critic who dubbed that movie Tittie-butt Follies.

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Tuesday, 11 July 2023 13:36 (eleven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

The restaurant movie gets a title: Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros and a premiere at TIFF this year. It's 4 hours long too - stoked!

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 27 July 2023 06:45 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I hope it gets a decent run in the U.S.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 23 August 2023 20:08 (nine months ago) link

sounds really good

going through all of his films in order by year I have still only made it up to High School II from 1994

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 September 2023 00:05 (nine months ago) link

two weeks pass...

There are a couple of reviews of Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros out - this one maybe the most considered?

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 24 September 2023 10:01 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

Tonight: Essene.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 4 November 2023 00:57 (seven months ago) link

oh man, the scene with the flyswatter

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 8 November 2023 06:05 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

watched Ballet, about the American Ballet Theater, from 1995. It is one of my favorite films of his so far. It is, as always for him, about an institution but features an amazing extended interview with Agnes de Mille before she died and many beautiful rehearsal sequences and performances

Dan S, Saturday, 13 January 2024 00:37 (five months ago) link

"Most striking might be the sounds Wiseman captures, not just of the music, hardly at all of the music (there isn't even an orchestra at the Athens performance: Wiseman gives us a close-up of the giant tape recorder filling in for the band), but rather the grunts and thuds and squeaks of the dancers' shoes on the surface of the stage. The sound of gravity in an artform that aspires to weightlessness."

Dan S, Saturday, 13 January 2024 01:25 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

this goes about exactly how you'd expect fred wiseman appearing as a talking head in a documentary called "cinema verite: defining the moment" might.

— arlin golden (@cerealburrito) February 3, 2024

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 6 February 2024 22:21 (four months ago) link

(last bit of it)

— arlin golden (@cerealburrito) February 3, 2024

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 6 February 2024 22:22 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

Man, the judge in “Juvenile Court”… what a job

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 14 March 2024 00:57 (three months ago) link

Apparently you can watch the latest film here

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 21 March 2024 11:28 (two months ago) link

we just watched that -- it was very long and medium enjoyable imo. i enjoyed the kitchen scenes and seeing the chefs foraging and clowning around, but it was definitely bougie Wiseman (not my favorite)

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Thursday, 21 March 2024 13:47 (two months ago) link

i did like that it was an entry into the behind-the-scenes kitchen films/media that did not portray the kitchen as a chaotic/abusive/stressful place. everything was extremely placid.

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Thursday, 21 March 2024 13:49 (two months ago) link

I’m sure i will eventually get around to it and probably enjoy it, but even as a Wiseman buff i’ve had a hard time working up much enthusiasm for it just based on the subject

After years of having it on my watchlist i finally got around to Near Death a couple weeks ago and it completely rocked my world, i havent been able to stop thinking about it since, might be his masterpiece imho. It wasnt as disturbing or difficult to watch as i’d always feared, but just unbelievably rich & complex.

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Thursday, 21 March 2024 14:10 (two months ago) link

Such a great film--my second favourite (seems like a weird word to use) after Welfare.

clemenza, Friday, 22 March 2024 14:04 (two months ago) link

His new film is not as good as "Near Death", however, it is still worth checking out. Wiseman has great rhythm to his films. This latest one is no exception. The 4 hours zoom by really quickly.

Vintage, Monday, 25 March 2024 04:45 (two months ago) link

Going through his films in order - after Ballet (1995) I had a hard time with La Comédie-Française (1996), I just couldn't relate to it.

Public Housing (1997) is about the Ida B. Wells housing project in Chicago (which was torn down in the 2000s). It is pretty great.

Dan S, Tuesday, 2 April 2024 23:03 (two months ago) link

I am watching Belfast, Maine (1999) now and loving it. It is over 4 hours long though, so I'm taking my time

Dan S, Tuesday, 2 April 2024 23:06 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I’m watching “Welfare” in chunks of 15-20 minutes. Just really painful to watch

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 27 April 2024 19:19 (one month ago) link

(The family kitchen documentary was … it was pretty good, not my favorite. It’s playing on a one night basis here in June and I have to think about whether I’m committed enough to spend four hours watching it on a week night.)

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 27 April 2024 19:21 (one month ago) link

Painful riveting, though, right? As I've said many times, I think his greatest film.

clemenza, Saturday, 27 April 2024 19:35 (one month ago) link

which one?

plax (ico), Saturday, 27 April 2024 20:46 (one month ago) link


clemenza, Saturday, 27 April 2024 20:48 (one month ago) link

Frederick Wiseman’s Filmography Has Been Restored and is Coming to Theaters

Zipporah Films is pleased to announce that, for the first time, all Frederick Wiseman films are now available in digital formats. The process, which took nearly five years, involved the restoration and digitization of 33 Wiseman films from 1969 through 2006 that have not previously been available, except in film. Now 45 Wiseman films are available in digital formats, removing barriers so that these films can reach a wider audience, as many were only available in 16mm prior to the restoration.

I am enormously grateful to the individuals and organizations whose support made possible the digitizing and restoration of my films, which will now provide new access to the films. ~ Frederick Wiseman

This project involved the Library of Congress delivering the original 16mm negatives for 32 films and one 35mm negative for the narrative THE LAST LETTER along with the Harvard Film Archive sending the sound elements to DuArt Laboratory and then to Goldcrest Post Production, after the historic DuArt closed. The negatives were scanned, conformed, color graded and then matched with the original sound to create the 4K restored digital versions. Colorist, Jane Tolmachyov, who has worked with Wiseman for decades, handled all the grading, while Wiseman personally reviewed and approved all 33 films.

Beginning in the fall of 2024, the Wiseman films will be exhibited in retrospectives starting at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles and at Film at Lincoln Center in New York, in addition to many other exhibitions around the world. Also, the restored 4K version of LAW AND ORDER will premiere at Cannes Classics this month. The films are available for additional programming worldwide at Zipporah Films.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 10 May 2024 22:26 (one month ago) link

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