Who said anything about retiring? 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-third in a long, storied career — is now set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this month, with a Toronto International Film Festival bow to follow, and a very special release at New York’s own Film Forum also on the docket.
As is Wiseman’s wont, the newest documentary from the filmmaker — “Ex Libris – The New York Public Library” — goes inside the hallowed halls of a beloved institution to shed light on both the big and small issues that face such a long-standing cultural touchstone.
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.”
After its festival run, the film 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 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.
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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.
Check out our exclusive trailer for “Ex Libris – The New York Public Library” below or view it on our YouTube page.