Frederick Wiseman
From the Cutting Room Floor

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman was a lawyer and professor when he took his students to see the hospital for the criminally insane called Bridgewater in Massachusetts. Shocked at the conditions, he decided to bring a camera into the facility. It was 1967 and Wiseman was allowed to film what he saw, in a verité style, without censorship and the result was the highly acclaimed Titicut Follies. Titicut Follies caused such a stir that it was banned in Massachusetts for over two decades. It inspired Wiseman to go on and make films about other institutions including High School, Welfare, and Hospital, amongst others. He has made nearly 40 films. The film emerges not so much in the shooting but in the editing room where Wiseman finds the rhythm of the film. He has therefore never liked the term verité in regards to his work because he does seek out drama. This interview looks at Frederick Wiseman’s documentary, Domestic Violence. His most recent film is La Danse.