Frederick Wiseman has had an exceptional career. After studying law he worked as an attorney in Paris and was a Professor of Law and Medicine at Boston University from 1959 until he switched to filmmaking in 1967. He is regarded as one of the most important representatives of “direct cinema”, a documentary form that attempts to minimize the effects of the camera on what is filmed, so as to preserve the authenticity of the subjects therein. In his most recent documentary, CrazyHorse, Wiseman portrays the eponymous Parisian nightclub which stands for the “best nude shows in the world”. Even though the subject matter of his film is surprising as Wiseman is best-known for making socially critical films such as Welfare and Domestic Violence, Crazy Horse ultimately turns out to be in the same tradition. It is based on insights into socially relevant subjects: in this case the yearning for erotic fulfilment and the impossibility of satisfying these multi-leveled desires through the visual level alone.
Frederick Wiseman, Crazy Horse, 2011, 134 Min © Zipporah Films, Cambridge.
Frederick Wiseman (*1930) is a filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter. He lives and works in New York.