Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wiseman on Wednesday

Esteemed documentarian Frederick Wiseman's latest film, State Legislature, airs tonight on PBS, at 9pm EST. There's no better use for public television than to air lengthy, deep-dish accounts like this one, where Wiseman trains his camera on the inner workings of the Idaho state legislature. His documentaries are completely no frills--there is no narration, no editorializing, no score, and little editing, as the vignettes he focuses on play out. Think Andy Warhol capturing lawmakers and other functionaries being themselves in "the Factory." But they come to root out the humanity from underneath the mundane accretion of details and process, which makes them abundantly interesting if you immerse yourself in them.

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