Monday, June 02, 2008

Cinéma vérité or Cinéma Direct?

Frederick Wiseman would seem to not claim either category for his documentary films. Though his camera's eye seems as casual and indifferent as the fly on the wall, every set up and edit is a selection of his personal choice. Presented without a narrator's Voice Over, each film, nonetheless, is a clear narrative by Wiseman.

The films are all now available on his DVD releasing company: Zipporah Films. Though his first film, Titicut Follies was shown on PBS in 1967, neither the impact of Titicut Follies or the 30-some films that followed have been dimmed in any way by the passage of time. Unfortunately. The human foibles and folly are as relevant to our lives and social structure as ever.

I don't know what category of cinema to place Frederick Wiseman so I'll just place him at the top of the class of great documentary film makers.

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