On TV: EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Coming to PBS tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4:
EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Director:
Frederick Wiseman

Premiere:
Venice 2017

Select Festivals:
Toronto, IDFA, CPH:DOX, London, Busan, Zurich, Hamburg, Rio, Vienna, Camerimage

About:
An immersive look at the titular institution.

Wiseman, the master of institutional portraits, here introduces the viewer to the various roles and functions of the New York Public Library. Far from being only a storehouse for books, the NYPL – as represented by several of its 92 branches citywide – instead underscores its essential role in serving the citizenry. Less about the literature it offers and more about the people who make use of it, Wiseman’s film drops the audience into a seemingly endless buzz of activity, from job recruitment fairs to book club meetings, children’s literacy programs and conversations with the likes of Patti Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates, music concerts and accessibility programs for the blind and deaf. As in several of his other works, the director also offers intriguing behind the scenes moments, revealing library staff addressing how they are staying current and relevant to the needs of their users, such as offering expanded Internet access and a greater selection of eBooks. While its arguable that Wiseman could have accomplished as vibrant a profile in less than the film’s 3 hour plus run time, it remains an illuminating project.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.