The New York Public Library
A little over fifty years after his ground breaking directorial debut Titicut Follies (1967, SFF 1992), Wiseman is still exploring the many-chambered world of institutions. Following National Gallery (SFF 2014) and At Berkeley (SFF 2014), he turns his attention to the world of libraries. But this isn’t all shelves and volumes – rather it’s a fascinating tour of an establishment determined to maintain its relevance in the 21st century. We encounter passionate readers, welcoming staff, budget-focused administrators and inspiring speakers (including Patti Smith and Elvis Costello). Wiseman films in grand marble foyers, crowded annexes and anonymous meeting rooms, creating a mesmerising portrait of a rich and diverse institution. Now in his late 80s, Wiseman has crafted one of the most compelling films of his extraordinary career.
Frederick Wiseman's next instant classic – Kate Erbland, IndieWire
It is a soaring, Utopian mission in a documentary that builds with intellectual force and deep emotion as it shows, again and again, citizens – interested, questioning, seeking – joining together to listen to one another and to learn from one another. – Manohla Dargis, Financial Review