Frederick Wiseman – In Jackson Heights (2015)

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Quote:
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the United States and the world. There are immigrants from every country in South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. Some are citizens, some have green cards, some are without documents. The people who live in Jackson Heights, in their cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, are representative of the new wave of immigrants to America. 167 languages are spoken in Jackson Heights. Some of the issues the film raises-assimilation, integration, immigration and cultural and religious differences-are common to all the major cities of the Western world. The subject of the film is the daily life of the people in this community-their businesses, community centers, religions, and political, cultural and social lives-and the conflict between maintaining ties to traditions of the countries of origin and the need to learn and adapt to American ways and values. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Sinai Field Mission (1978)

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SINAI FIELD MISSION shows the routine activities of the diplomats and electronics technicians who operate the U.S. Sinai Field Mission, the early warning system established in 1976 to help facilitate the disengagement between Egypt and Israel after the 1973 war. The major purpose of the Mission is to monitor the approaches to strategic passes and to verify the operations of the Egyptian and Israeli surveillance stations in the Sinai Buffer Zone. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – La danse – Le ballet de l’Opéra de Paris (2009)

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Description: In “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet,” his 36th documentary in more than 40 years, Frederick Wiseman takes his camera into the stately and elegant Palais Garnier in Paris, observing rehearsals, staff meetings and, finally, performances of seven dances, including classics like “The Nutcracker” and spiky new work by younger choreographers. To say that the film, sumptuous in its length and graceful in its rhythm, is a feast for ballet lovers is to state the obvious and also to sell Mr. Wiseman’s achievement a bit short. Yes, this is one of the finest dance films ever made, but there’s more to it than that. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Juvenile Court (1973)

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PLOT SYNOPSIS
From Allmovie
by Bhob Stewart

This 1973 Frederick Wiseman documentary, filmed at the Juvenile Court in Memphis, Tennessee, won the Columbia University School of Journalism’s 1974 Dupont Award for “Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.” In 144 minutes, Wiseman shows a wide variety of cases before the Memphis Juvenile Court, from child abuse and sexual offenses to armed robbery and foster home placement, and it examines such issues as the range and limits of choices available to the court, psychology of offenders, constitutional points, procedural questions, and community protection vs. the desire for rehabilitation. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Deaf (1986)

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Synopsis
“Zipporah” wrote:
The School for the Deaf at the Alabama Institute is organized around a theory of total communication i.e. the use of signs and finger spelling in conjunction with speech, hearing aids, lip reading, gestures and the written word. The film shows sequences dealing with various aspects of this comprehensive training such as teaching students and parents to sign; speech therapy; psychological counseling; regular academic courses; vocational training; disciplinary problems; parents visits; sports and recreational activity; training in living and working independently; and developing skills in home and money management. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – La Comedie-Francaise ou L’amour joue (1996)

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From Allmovie.com
Frederick Wiseman was allowed to make the first documentary about La Comedie-Francaise, the French national theater and the oldest continuous repertory company in the world, founded in Paris in the late 17th Century. In the company’s prehistory, the Illustre Theatre was co-founded by Paris-born upholsterer’s son Moliere (1622-73) in 1643. Moliere’s company left to tour the provinces in 1645, and when they returned to Paris in 1658, the king granted a theater in the Louvre, the Theatre du Petit-Bourbon. This troupe became the core for the union of several companies into a new theater, officially titled Comedie-Francaise in 1681. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Racetrack (1985)

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Synopsis
RACETRACK is about the Belmont Race Track, one of the world’s leading race tracks for thoroughbred racing. The film highlights the training, maintaining and racing of thoroughbred horses. Everyday occurrences are shown: in the backstretch — the grooming, feeding, shoeing, and caring for horses and the preparation for races; at the practice track the various aspects of training, exercising, and timing the horses; at the paddock — the pre-race presentation of the horses; and in the grandstand — betting and watching the races. The film also has sequences showing the variety of work done by trainers, jockeys, jockey agents, grooms, hot walkers, stable hands, and veterinarians. Continue reading