Frederick Wiseman, Documentary Filmmaker

“The Making and Reading of a Documentary Film”
Una's Lecture
Photo of Frederick Wiseman.
Wednesday, Apr 2, 2003 | 7:30 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman uses the “direct cinema” tradition of documentary filmmaking—continued filming of human conversation and the routines of everyday life with no music, interviews, or voice-over narration—to powerfully examine social institutions in America. First trained as a lawyer, Wiseman began his filmmaking career in 1967 with a series of groundbreaking films broadcast on PBS. The so-called “institutional series” included Titicut Follies, which examined life in a prison for the criminally insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, as well as High School; Law and Order; Hospital; and Welfare. Wiseman’s later works include Domestic Violence; State Legislature; and Zoo. He has been awarded two Emmy Awards, the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship.