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Frederick Wiseman


“There are lots of different ways to make film. I don’t believe there has to be any orthodox way to making movies, or any rules. It’s what works for the filmmaker, and, theoretically, the audience.”



Documentarian Frederick Wiseman has been noted for his ability to capture the nuances of life in American institutions such as prisons, hospitals, welfare offices, and high schools. He started out in 1963 by producing a fictional feature film, The Cool World, an examination of the lives of Harlem teenagers. In the beginning, Wiseman was a staunch social reformist, and his films were calls for change. Titicut Follies, his first documentary, is an exposé of life in a prison for the criminally insane in Bridgewater, MA. It was controversial and left Wiseman with the reputation of being a muckraker. His four subsequent documentaries were all exposés of other tax-supported institutions designed to show the ineffectiveness of the bureaucracy that not only threatens to destroy them, but also dehumanizes the people they were meant to serve. Wiseman toned down his message and began focusing more on American culture to point out the symbolism of daily activities in his film Primate (1974). In… read more


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"Whatever “thinking” goes on occurs in the editing. There is not much time during the shooting to think about the implications and structure. I usually don’t begin to think about structure until I am six to eight months into the editing, and have most of the candidate sequences in close to final form. Also, I do not like to explain a film."

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Adt Raditya


I only see the Crazy Horse, and I don't know much about his another work.. Can anybody give me recommend for a newbie like me?

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    Steve "The Schmuck" Pulaski


    If you can find it, I can't stress the importance of his film "Titicut Follies." It's a jaw-dropping work of documentary genius, and the controversy surrounding it is almost as interesting as the movie itself. I sum it up pretty well in my review,

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Coheed 2.5


I only wish his films were more easily available.

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    They are, they're just like 30$ on his site.

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    Coheed 2.5


    Add potential import costs since I live in the UK, and they are even more expensive to get hold of.

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    David Grillo


    I was just able to download a collection of his films quite easily just go online and search for an application called Media Crawler it's an internet app and great for films I have a mac but it should work for both.

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    I saw a few at the BFI filmstore recently (Southbank).