Frederick Wiseman, 92, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, which continues to be his home – when he is not in Paris, often doing post-production work on his films. After training to be a lawyer, he taught at Boston University School of Law in the late 1950s. While there, he took his students out of the classroom and into institutions to which their work might eventually lead them: prisons, parole board hearings, medical examiner’s offices, courtrooms… places he would later go on to film. His film career began with producing The Cool World, directed by Shirley Clark. That ‘depressing and liberating’ experience made him set out to direct, produce and edit his own films. Forty-one of his 45 films have won industry awards and 18 have screened at SFF: City Hall (SFF 2021); Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (SFF 2018); In Jackson Heights (SFF 2016); National Gallery (SFF 2014); At Berkeley (SFF 2014); Crazy Horse (SFF 2012); Boxing Gym (SFF 2011); La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (SFF 2010); Domestic Violence 2 (SFF 2003); Domestic Violence (SFF 2002); Belfast, Maine (SFF 2000); Titicut Follies (SFF 2003 and 1992); Public Housing (SFF 1998); La Comédie-Française ou L’amour Joué (SFF 1997); Aspen (SFF 1993); Zoo (SFF 1993); Meat (SFF 1977) and Welfare (SFF 1976). Wiseman has been the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards, along with Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships.
Discover the first retrospective collection in this year’s program, It Takes Time: Ten Films by Frederick Wiseman. Tickets on sale now.