Frederick Wiseman – High School (1968)

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Plot Summary :

Quote:
The high school, located in Philadelphia, is a mostly white institute. The students are shuffled between various classes. In the normal classes like English, teachers can be found doing such things as extolling the virtues of Paul Simon, poet. In less worthy classes, female students model clothes and receive unflattering comments from the teacher about their bodies. Come sex-ed time, boys are informed by a gynecologist, casually, that he gets paid to look at girls’ hymens. The auditorium applauds. In a rare moment of student discussion, many discuss their dissatisfaction with all but the technology available at the school. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Titicut Follies (1967)

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Quote:

Titicut Follies is a black and white 1967 documentary film by Frederick Wiseman about the treatment of patients at Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The title is taken from a talent show put on by the hospital’s inmates. (The talent show was taken from the Wampanoag Indian name for the nearby Taunton River).
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Frederick Wiseman – Essene (1972)

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Essene is about daily life in a Benedictine monastery and the resolution of conflict between personal needs and the institutional and organizational priorities of the community. In the Order, where the focus of life is the relationship of individual work and worship to the community as a whole, the brethren must cope with the same issues that arise in any community: rules, work, worship, values, love, and play. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Domestic Violence (2001)

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Review (Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times)
The word that comes to mind most often while you’re watching Frederick Wiseman‘s unambiguous new documentary, Domestic Violence, is weariness. The fatigue starts with the police officers, who come off best with their measured responses in the tense aftermath of household warfare. You can only imagine how many of these incidents they’ve rolled into, and their ability to move through them and ask the relevant questions without being sickened by another depressing tableau is testament to their patience in their work. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Zoo (1993)

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From Allmovie:

by Bhob Stewart

Frederick Wiseman has often focused on individuals trapped in institutional situations not of their making, and with this 1993 film his concern broadened to include people, animals and the keepers of animals. Hundreds of species are represented by the 780 animals housed at the Miami Zoo, where they are viewed, photographed and videotaped by a constant zoo parade of visitors from all over the world. A dedicated staff cares for these creatures, recording all details of animal behavior from birth to death. The film shows the care and maintenance of the animals by their keepers, along with the work of veterinarians. Beyond the bars there are ethical issues, and the film’s other sequences span a great diversity of zoo interests and activities, examining interrelationships of the zoo’s animal, human, financial, technical, research and organizational aspects. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Public Housing (1997)

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Synopsis:
PUBLIC HOUSING documents daily life at the Ida B. Wells public housing development in Chicago. The film illustrates some of the experiences of people living in conditions of extreme poverty. Events shows include the work of the tenants council, street life, the role of police, job training programs, drug education, teenage mothers, dysfunctional families, elderly residents, nursery school and after school teenage programs and the activities of the city, state and federal governments in maintaining and changing public housing. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Missile (1987)

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From Allmovie:

Who presses the button? To show those at the controls of America’s nuclear arsenal, famed filmmaker Frederick Wiseman made this 1987 documentary at the 4315th Training Squadron of the Strategic Air Command at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. Air Force officers are shown in training to man the Launch Control Centers for the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The film follows trainees through various stages of this training, to graduation and assignments as Launch Control Center staffers. In addition to discussions on the moral and military issues of nuclear war, the film features plans against terrorist attacks; emergency procedures; tutorial sessions; codes and communications; staff meetings; and the arming and targeting of missiles. The film introduces the viewer to the sincere, intelligent, well-trained men and women who are trusted with the responsibility for methodically and calmly carrying forth any orders they receive for the destruction of civilization. Read More »