Frederick Wiseman - Rotten Tomatoes

Frederick Wiseman

Highest Rated:   100% La Dernière Lettre (2003)
Lowest Rated:   83% Crazy Horse (2012)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Boston, Massachusetts
Documentarian Frederick Wiseman has been noted for his ability to capture the nuances of life in American institutions such as prisons, hospitals, welfare offices, and high schools. He started out in 1963 by producing a fictional feature film, The Cool World, an examination of the lives of Harlem teenagers. In the beginning, Wiseman was a staunch social reformist, and his films were calls for change. Titicut Follies, his first documentary, is an exposé of life in a prison for the criminally insane in Bridgewater, MA. It was controversial and left Wiseman with the reputation of being a muckraker. His four subsequent documentaries were all exposés of other tax-supported institutions designed to show the ineffectiveness of the bureaucracy that not only threatens to destroy them, but also dehumanizes the people they were meant to serve. Wiseman toned down his message and began focusing more on American culture to point out the symbolism of daily activities in his film Primate (1974). In the '80s, he began examining institutions as they relate to ideology. Unlike other documentaries, Wiseman's work does not progress chronologically; rather, the segments are arranged thematically, like an essay, and are linked via rhetorical devices such as comparison and contrast to create a patterned structure. His films are never narrated, thereby forcing viewers to make connections between the sequences themselves. Wiseman has occasionally returned to fictional films, albeit in a non-fiction performance style, as with Seraphita's Diary (1982) and La Derniere Lettre (2002). He won an Honorary Academy Award in 2016.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
95% In Jackson Heights
  • Director
  • Producer
2015
95% National Gallery
  • Director
  • Producer
2014
No Score Yet La Comédie-Française ou L'amour joué
  • Director
2014
86% At Berkeley
  • Producer
  • Director
$5.6k 2013
83% Crazy Horse
  • Director
$0.2M 2012
No Score Yet Desir
  • Director
2011
No Score Yet Frederick Wiseman's Boxing Gym
  • Director
2011
93% Boxing Gym
  • Producer
  • Director
$35.0k 2010
88% La Danse -- Le Ballet de l'Opera de Paris
  • Producer
  • Director
$0.6M 2009
No Score Yet State Legislature
  • Director
  • Producer
2007
No Score Yet The Garden
  • Director
2005
100% La Dernière Lettre
  • Director
2003
91% Domestic Violence
  • Director
  • Producer
2001
No Score Yet Belfast, Maine
  • Director
1999
No Score Yet Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Public Housing
  • Director
  • Producer
1997
No Score Yet Ballet
  • Director
  • Producer
1996
No Score Yet High School II
  • Producer
  • Director
1994
No Score Yet Zoo
  • Director
1993
No Score Yet Aspen
  • Director
1991
No Score Yet Central Park
  • Director
1991
No Score Yet Missile
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1987
No Score Yet Multi-handicapped
  • Producer
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet Adjustment and Work
  • Producer
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet Deaf
  • Producer
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet The Store
  • Producer
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet Manoeuvre
  • Director
  • Producer
1979
No Score Yet Sinai Field Mission
  • Director
1978
No Score Yet Canal Zone
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1977
No Score Yet Model
  • Director
  • Producer
1977
No Score Yet Meat
  • Producer
  • Director
1976
No Score Yet Welfare
  • Director
  • Producer
1975
No Score Yet Primate
  • Director
1974
No Score Yet Essene
  • Director
1972
No Score Yet Basic Training
  • Producer
  • Director
1971
No Score Yet Law and Order
  • Director
1969
No Score Yet High School
  • Producer
  • Director
1968
100% Titicut Follies
  • Director
  • Producer
1967
100% The Cool World
  • Producer
1964
No Score Yet Domestic Violence 2
  • Director

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
2013
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet Independent Lens
1999
  • Producer
  • Director
  • 2014
  • 2005
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Producer
  • Director
  • 2010
No Score Yet POV
1988
  • Director
  • 2001

Quotes from Frederick Wiseman's Characters

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