FILM AND VIDEO DIRECTORS

PUBLISHER
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9 x 8.25 in. / 160 pgs / 65 duotone.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 30   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780870707919 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $53.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 01/20/10-12/31/10

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THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

Frederick Wiseman

Edited by Joshua Siegel, Marie-Christine de Navacelle. Text by Andrew Delbanco, David Denby, Pierre Legendre, Errol Morris, Jay Neugeboren, Marie-Christine de Navacelle, Geoffrey O'Brien, Christopher Ricks, Catherine Samie, Joshua Siegel, William T. Vollmann, Frederick Wiseman.

Frederick Wiseman

The first English publication to provide a comprehensive overview of Frederick Wiseman's career

For over four decades, from his landmark Titicut Follies (1967) to his recent La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (2009) and forthcoming Boxing Gym (2010), Frederick Wiseman (born 1930) has used a lightweight 16mm camera and portable sound equipment to study human behavior in all its unpredictable manifestations, particularly as it responds to institutional or regimented settings or to democracy at work. Combining epic narrative with intimate portraiture, Wiseman's films constitute a grand panorama of modern life, a kind of modern-day comédie humaine. While he manages to intrude only minimally on the lives of his subjects, his sensitive eye, lawyerly skepticism and storytelling impulses produce imaginative truth. Wiseman has also worked in the theater, directing acclaimed adaptations of Beckett and Pirandello. His stage and film productions La Dernière Lettre (The Last Letter), based on Vassily Grossman's epic novel Life and Fate, starred Catherine Samie, doyenne of the Comédie-Française and a contributor to this book. Frederick Wiseman, the first publication in English to provide a comprehensive overview of Wiseman's career to date, includes essays by eminent observers on both sides of the Atlantic, including writers, critics, filmmakers, actors and Wiseman himself. Illustrated with stills from his films, this volume offers a compelling portrait of Frederick Wiseman as one of the world's most innovative, fearless and influential filmmakers, as well as an accomplished theater director.

Frederick Wiseman has made 38 films that stand as a monumental chronicle of late-twentieth-century institutional and cultural life. His controversial 1967 debut feature Titicut Follies, a look at conditions inside the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, remains the only American film ever censored for reasons other than national security or obscenity. His 2009 film La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet has been a tremendous critical and popular success both in the United States and abroad. Wiseman's latest documentary, about an amateur boxing gym in Austin, Texas, had its premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and he is currently editing a film about the Crazy Horse Saloon, the legendary cabaret in Paris.

Hal Himmelstein, Professor of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, writes, "In [his documentary film] Juvenile Court (1973)... Wiseman reveals the compassionate side of authority. The court officials in the Memphis, Tennessee juvenile court discuss, with evident concern, the futures of young offenders accused of crimes such as child abuse and armed robbery."

The featured image here is a photograph by Wiseman of one of those courts, from his book Frederick Wiseman, published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Frederick Wiseman

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FROM THE BOOK
"Several years ago, when I was making a documentary film about dying patients in an intensive care unit at Boston hospital, I wanted to shoot some sequences in the hospital morgue and was introduced to the man in charge of the morgue… After six weeks at the hospital, the shooting of the film was over and I made the rounds to say goodbye to the staff physicians, nurses, administrators and others who had assisted me and offered suggestions during the filming… I saw the man from the morgue and thanked him for his help. He smiled, shook my hand and said, 'See you soon.'"

Frederick Wiseman, originally published in The Threepenny Review, and here excerpted from Frederick Wiseman.

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