Lucky you who have yet to discover the work of Frederick Wiseman. Lucky us who again get the chance to watch them on the big screen. A quote from the site of Wiseman’s Zipporah company:
“… his cameras have observed institutions from a New York City welfare office to Dallas’ Neiman-Marcus department store, all with the same unvarnished, fly-on-the-wall style. Even his titles — HOSPITAL, WELFARE, RACETRACK, THE STORE — are stripped to the bluntly descriptive essentials. Behind Wiseman’s minimalist method, however, is a subtle and perceptive artist. His enduring subject: the way people cope with the stress, dislocation and institutional indifference of American life.” Richard Zoglin, Time.
Wiseman goes to Europe in this month to introduce some of his films and do masterclasses. First in the festival in Lisbon and after that in Jihlava, Czech Republic. Sites below. Let me give you two quotes from the master himself:
“Documentaries, like theatre pieces, novels or poems are forms of fiction.”
“I try to immerse myself, to the extent I can, in the life of a place of which I have little prior knowledge, and I don’t go in with a thesis I try to prove or disprove. The shooting of the film is the research. My response to that experience is what the final film is about.“