The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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National Gallery finds director Frederick Wiseman doing what he does best: Drawing the viewer in with richly detailed, patiently constructed observations on modern institutions.
All Critics (64)
| Top Critics (24)
| Fresh (61)
| Rotten (3)
To say Frederick Wiseman makes observational documentaries is like saying Alfred Hitchcock made thrillers -- accurate, but not the heart of the matter.
At three hours, the result is long, but perhaps less exhausting than a visit to the actual gallery, because of how thoroughly the mind is engaged even as the senses are saturated.
An intriguing and valuable record.
Sitting there with something like National Gallery, it's not the rush of time you feel. It's the rush of applied skill.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there are at least a million things worth talking about in National Gallery.
National Gallery presents the famous art space as almost a living and breathing thing, with all the complications and rough glory that implies.
There is no explanation for this documentary, no obvious goals, nor a narrator to guide us. We just watch and listen. Also, National Gallery is Wiseman's most beautiful documentary since La Danse,
Some of the film's most fascinating moments pay tribute to the gallery's technical prowess and craftsmanship.
Wiseman's fly-on-the-wall style is the perfect formal approach to cut through the surface of pretence that dominates any kind of major institution's vision of itself, and it is this fascination with institutions that has marked Wiseman's lengthy career.
Wiseman does what he does best: creates a holistic sense of a place as an organic habitat rather than a mere organization.
As National Gallery/ will show, paintings can communicate many things to many different people, and this latest institution makes for a unique look at the role of art in public life.
National Gallery is a snooty version of those BBC fly-on-the -wall series such as Airport.
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