Even at age 87, legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman shows no signs of slowing down — or resting on his laurels after finally, finally getting some love from the Academy in the form of his honorary Oscar given to him last year.
His next film — his forty-second in a long, storied career — has now landed an early fall date, perfect for the kind of awards attention Wiseman seems mostly uninspired by. “Ex Libris: New York Public Library,” which mainly focuses on the sprawling New York Public Library located on Fifth Avenue, will bow at New York’s own Film Forum on September 13, with a theatrical rollout to follow throughout the season, thanks to Wiseman’s company, Zipporah Films. The doc will also play at select film festivals this fall.
Per the film’s official synopsis: “The legendary filmmaker brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of NYC’s library system. The NYPL is blessed with uniformly passionate staff and deeply devoted, appreciative bibliophiles and beneficiaries across its 92 branches. The film reveals a venerable place of welcome, cultural exchange, and intellectual creativity.”
The film is the twelfth of Wiseman’s titles that Film Forum has premiered, making him the most-premiered filmmaker in the cinema’s 47-year history.
Film Forum will next be showing Part II of its chronological retrospective, The Complete Wiseman, which runs September 6 – 14. The twelve-film installment includes Wiseman titles from “Blind” (1986) through “La Comédie-Française ou L’amour joué” (1996). The series follows their Complete Wiseman: Part I, which played from April 14 – 27 of this year. Part III is scheduled to play in 2018.