Frederick Wiseman: National Gallery

The other day I visited the National Gallery in London. I was there for three hours, generously being introduced to the fabulous collection by skilled art historians, who took me and others to watch and learn. We stood in front of one masterpiece after the other. I watched the reactions of my fellow visitors, the concentration they had, and some of them sat down to copy the works. I also had the chance to get behind the scene and discover how fascinating it must be to work with the restoration of paintings, the x-ray technique being used, and I met staff members who discussed budget matters for the museum, I saw how new exhibitions are being set up, I saw model painting classes by amateurs, blind people seeing pictures… all of it was arranged for me by Frederick Wiseman and his team, who again has made an inviting institution film with the right rythm, indicating the conflicts there are at a place like that – policy towards the audience, how populistic do you have to be etc. – but first of all this time with a focus on the art. It is simply wonderful to be there…

And then you can, as I did here in Paris, where ”National Gallery” is running in several cinemas, inspired go and watch Mike Leigh’s new film ”Mr. Turner”. Brilliant as well.

USA, France, 2014, 180 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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