In a career that spans more than four decades, Frederick Wiseman has made nearly forty films that together form a monumental chronicle of late-twentieth-century institutional and cultural life. From his controversial debut, Titicut Follies (1967), about a state prison hospital for the criminally insane, to his recent critical and commercial successes La Danse-The Paris Opera Ballet (2009) and Boxing Gym (2010), these films pose ethical, philosophical, and aesthetic dilemmas that are both urgent and vexing. Frederick Wiseman, the first publication in English to provide a comprehensive overview of Wiseman's work to date (including projects for theater and opera), features original essays by a variety of distinguished writers, critics, and artists: Andrew Delbanco, David Denby, Pierre Legendre, Errol Morris, Marie-Christine de Navacelle, Jay Neugeboren, Geoffrey O'Brien, Christopher Ricks, Catherine Samie, Joshua Siegel, William T. Vollmann, and Wiseman himself. Richly illustrated with stills from his films, this volume is an incisive examination of one of cinema's most fearless and innovative filmmakers.
No contemporary maker of films, whether for theatrical release or for
television, engages my emotions so fully or consistently as Frederick
–Richard Schickel, Life
He’s arguably the most brilliant, brave and innovative person working in his field.
–Terry Atkinson, Los Angeles Times
Taken together, this is work that presents a sweeping, continuing portrait of modern America, its institutions, social relations, administrative and bureaucratic controls and of course-right at the center of this filmmaker’s unyielding frame-its people.
–Manohla Dargis, The New York Times