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NATIONAL GALLERY Unclassified 18+

Documentaries | Feature
D Frederick Wiseman | UK, 2014
Tags: Architecture, Art, Auteur, Documentary, Long Films, Screened at Cannes
 

"Not only an immersive behind-the-scenes tour, highlighting the unseen work behind the hangings, but also an essay on the art of visual storytelling." – Sight & Sound

Prolific and celebrated documentarian Frederick Wiseman (At Berkeley, MIFF 2014; La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, MIFF 2010) has spent much of his career analysing cultural institutions, casting a patient, often critical eye on collectives and hierarchies. Here, he turns his gaze to London's National Gallery and the many artworks contained therein, poring over the intricacies of paintings while listening in to the valuable insights offered by the museum's guides.

There is a subtle political purpose to this film, too: Wiseman – as always, sans voiceover – contrasting the assertive staff with the silent visitors. Acclaimed as one of the director's most thought-provoking films, National Gallery is both quiet rumination on elitism and paean to great art.

"The most nourishing example of cinematic brain food you'll have all year." – Indiewire

D/S Frederick Wiseman P Frederick Wiseman, Pierre-Olivier Bardet Dist Vendetta Films TD DCP/2014

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