A documentary mosaic from the living legend Frederick Wiseman that has had a mesmerizing effect at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
Ex Libris is the new picture from the patriarch of documentary film Frederick Wiseman, whose works have explored the world around him for the past five decades. Having thoroughly investigated the New York’s Jackson Heights district, the University of California, Berkeley, famous Paris nightclub Crazy Horse and the Opera in Paris, and London’s National Gallery, the director turns his camera to the New York Public Library.
Wiseman’s picture is a mosaic comprising all sorts of elements, including the collection of the library’s managers, children courses, a reading club where retired people discuss Grabriel Garcia Marquez, exhibitions of African painting, charity programs for the homeless, and meetings with renowned personalities (such as Richard Dawkins, Patti Smith, and Elvis Costello). Wiseman has captured the library as an enormous organism that preserves memory about the variety of forms our world can take. Reflecting this variety and remaining accessible and comfortable for all kinds of audiences are the main tasks of the New York Public Library.
Ex Libris was included in the competition program at the 74th Venice Film Festival and received the FIPRESSI and the Fair Play Cinema awards. It was also screened at festivals in Toronto, New York, Zurich, London and Busan.
Maria Privalova, CEO of the Nekrasov Library, will introduce the film.
Ex Libris: New York Public Library
Director Frederick Wiseman. USA, 2017. 197 minutes.