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Wiseman's Next film: Boston City Hall

According to the NYT the Venice Film Festival just announced its lineup (festival runs from Sept 2-Sept 12). One of the entries is a new documentary by Frederick Wiseman called City Hall- a film about Boston City Hall.

Given Wiseman's deep dive into institutions (mental institutions, hospitals, the NY public library, Monrovia Indiana) one can only imagine what his deep focus will reveal- the daily interactions between city bureaucrats and citizens, the battle between the City Council and the Mayor, examining the impact of development on neighborhoods, concerns about inequality and violence? Wiseman's films are long enough to incorporate many themes.



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Wiseman's films are always worthwhile. I look forward to this one.

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Years ago there was some program which followed mayors about their daily lives. I remember the one with Menino. The day they followed him a snow storm was predicted that night. He agonized about closing schools the following day which he eventually did. The storm never came and the decision looked foolish.

The episode wasn't overly complimentary to him but it also showed him to be earnestly trying to deal with problems as best he could. It probably was a good reflection of Boston government.

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Will this documentary be the great Director's first comedy?

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Will the film festival be virtual or will this be available through other streaming venues?

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Venice Film Festival is happening in Venice with real world screenings, albeit a small, COVID precautionary gathering compared to previous years: fewer films being screened, theaters at half-capacity, temperature checks, masks, etc.
I don't see any info on upcoming streaming of the Wiseman documentary, but it was partly funded by Sundance so maybe they will be involved with streaming/distribution?

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A lot of Wiseman films are shown on PBS as part of their general release as well so hopefully there will be a few outlets (both broadcast and streaming) for watching this.

Maybe it could be part of the drive-in theatre showings at the convention center? Maybe that depends on how the Mayor feels about it:;>

No mention of the film yet on the web site of Wiseman's production house, Zipporah Films, yet.

There is an interesting online interview with Wiseman about his technique available at

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All of wiseman's films can be streamed w your library card at Kanopy; I imagine this will end up there as well. Typically the MFA has shown the first run of wiseman films locally, followed Brattle and Harvard Film Archive. But who knows when real cinema will be part of our lives again : (

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