Frederic Wiseman (United States)

Frederick Wiseman was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1930. Wiseman served in the U.S Military between 1954 and 1956. He also spent some time in Paris before returning to America and teaching Law at the Boston University’s Institute of Law and Medicine.

Despite initially training as a lawyer, Wiseman turned to documentary filmmaking very successfully. He has won numerous film awards, as well as Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships.

In 2003, Wiseman was awarded the Dan David Prize and in 2006, the George Polk Career Award, given annually by Long Island University to honour contributions to journalistic integrity and investigative reporting.

The institutions that Wiseman examined early in his career – a hospital, a high school, army basic training, a welfare centre, a police precinct – have “problems” that the filmmaker uncovers. His approach reveals the profound acknowledged and unacknowledged conformity and inequality of American society.

Wiseman’s films are also a reflection on democracy. His films portray the “American dream” and the “air conditioned nightmare” questioning the world and human existence.

Over the years his films have become more a skilful mix of observation, testimony, reflection, an absence of prejudice, and courage, and humour. A complex body of work, as great works of fiction (novels, drama, music, and film) can be, with the same profundity, contradictions, and questions without answers.

Filmography

  • Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
    2017
  • In Jackson Heights
    2015
  • National Gallery
    2014
  • At Berkeley
    2013
  • Crazy Horse
    2011
  • Boxing Gym
    2010
  • La danse - Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris
    2009
  • State Legislature
    2007
  • La dernière lettre / The Last Letter
    2002
  • Domestic Violence
    2001
  • Belfast, Maine
    1999
  • Public Housing
    1997
  • La Comédie-Française ou L'amour joué
    1996
  • Ballet
    1995
  • Zoo
    1993
  • Aspen
    1991
  • Near Death
    1989
  • Central Park
    1989
  • Blind
    1987
  • Missile
    1987
  • Adjustment and Work
    1986
  • Deaf
    1986
  • Multi-Handicapped
    1986
  • Racetrack
    1985
  • The Store
    1983
  • Model
    1980
  • Seraphita's Diary
    1980
  • Manoeuvre
    1979
  • Sinai Field Mission
    1978
  • Canal Zone
    1977
  • Meat
    1976
  • Welfare
    1975
  • Primate
    1974
  • Juvenile Court
    1973
  • Essene
    1972
  • Basic Training
    1971
  • Hospital
    1970
  • Law and Order
    1969
  • High School
    1968
  • Titicut Follies
    1967

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