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Frederick Wiseman


City Hall (2020)
In Jackson Heights (2015)
At Berkeley (2013)
Crazy Horse (2012)

Blog Posts


Thumbnails 12/20/2013

"Tower Prep" was cancelled because it was too girl-centric; the year's 10 best movie quotes; the year's worst movie titles; the real sins of the Welfare Queen; the aptly named Wiseman speaks.


Thumbnails 12/4/2013

New York Film Critics Circle deems "American Hustle" best picture; the Oscar documentary shortlist; the earning potential fo the regional film festival circuit; Ted Hope's 30 really bad things in the indie film biz; Buffalo's remaining movie theater may go dark.


What's your game, baby? Cinephile or cinemaniac?

David Bordwell examines the crucial distinguishing characteristics of cinephiles and cinemaniacs, and catalogs the shared habits and competitive strategies of the former, in "Games cinephiles play."

Which are you? (Not that you have to be one or the other.) DB will help you resolve any cine-related identity crisis from which you may be suffering.

He writes: ... I do see differences. For one thing, most cinemaniacs like only certain sorts of movies--usually American, often silent, sometimes foreign, seldom documentaries. Do cinemaniacs line up for Brakhage or Frederick Wiseman? My sense is not.

Cinephiles by contrast tend to be ecumenical. Indeed, many take pride in the intergalactic breadth of their tastes. Look at any smart critic's ten-best lists. You'll usually see an eclectic mix of arthouse, pop, and experimental, including one or two titles you have never heard of. Obscurity is important; a cinephile is a connoisseur.

Festivals & Awards

Toronto fest signals the opening of Good Movie Season

After Cannes, the Toronto Film Festival is the most important in the world. Last year's festival was ripped in two on Sept. 11. I walked out of a screening, heard the news, and the world had changed. Now comes the 27th annual festival, opening today. Are movies important in the new world we occupy? Yes, I think they are, because they are the most powerful artistic device for creating empathy--for helping us understand the lives of others.