Sag Harbor Cinema (SHC) is thrilled to announce a tribute to American legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, kicking off with three retrospective programs of some of Wiseman’s past work, and building to the release of the great director’s latest film, “City Hall” on November 6. “Wednesdays With Wiseman” will feature the master documentarian in conversation with luminaries from his field. All programs will be presented in SHC’s Virtual Cinema, accessible through sagharborcinema.org.
“I can think of very few storytellers who can match Fred Wiseman’s piercing eye, his powerful intellect, his compassionate depth, his underlying humor and his insatiable curiosity. Calling himself ‘a fantasist‘ rather than a documentarian, Wiseman has for over 50 years led us through an exploration of the human experience- social, geographical and emotional- that has no equal in American cinema,” says SHC’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan. “I am very excited to share this series with our audience -and even more to premiere Fred’s new film, ‘City Hall,’ a beautiful and timely work.”
“Wednesdays With Wiseman” features a classic Wiseman film each week introduced with a conversation between Wiseman and a group of renown fellow documentary filmmakers.
On October 21, Wiseman will discuss his celebrated portrait of the American Ballet Theatre, “Ballet” (1995), with Academy Award winner Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (“Free Solo”). On October 28, he will revisit “Sinai Field Mission” (1978) with Academy Award winner Errol Morris (“The Fog of War”). And on November 4, he will honor emergency workers with “Hospital” (1970), preceded by a conversation with Academy Award nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Jesus Camp”).
“City Hall” is Wiseman’s fascinating, urgent portrait of democracy at work, at a time when we most need patient, insightful vision. One of the highlights of the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, “City Hall” observes the daily enacting of democracy in Wiseman’s native Boston. Headed by earnest, progressive Mayor Martin Walsh, a diverse, passionate network of public servants works to keep Boston running while grappling with pressing issues like racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness.
In the director’s own words: “I made City Hall to illustrate why government is necessary for people to successfully live together. City Hall shows a city government offering a wide variety of important and necessary services to a major American city whose population exemplifies the history of diversity of America. The Boston city government is designed and strives to offer these services in a manner consistent with the Constitution and democratic norms. Boston’s city government is the opposite of what Trump stands for.”
Tickets for “Wednesdays With Wiseman” are $8 and tickets for “City Hall” are $12 and provide seven days of access. Visit sagharborcinema.org to purchase.