Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30 PM — The Auditorium at NEIU — 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Tickets: $10 at the door

Dec 7 - Hospital

Directed by Frederick Wiseman • 1970
Cinephile snobs love to lament the inferiority of TV, but the boob tube has nurtured some of the towering celluloid achievements of the 20th century: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Dekalog, R. W. Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, Marcel Ophuls’s The Sorrow and the Pity, and much of the output of documentarian Frederick Wiseman. The beatific bard of Boston has yet to receive an Academy Award nomination, but he won two Primetime Emmys way back in 1970 for Hospital, his fourth documentary feature. (It was subsequently added to the National Film Registry in 1994, the first so-called “TV movie” to be so honored.) Commissioned by PBS antecedent National Educational Television for its flagship program NET JournalHospital chronicles the emergency room and environs of New York’s Metropolitan Hospital. In his typically incisive style, Wiseman sketches a portrait of the institution and explores its workaday operations without privileging any one perspective or person over another: the patients, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, psychiatrists, family members, and even a chaplain all have their say. “I expected to find a lot of bureaucratic callousness and a hardened staff, indifferent to the problems of the poor,” recalled Wiseman. “What I generally found, though, were a lot of doctors, nurses, and hospital personnel who really cared, trying to deal with the medical consequences of bad housing, illiteracy, no jobs, malnutrition, and so on.” Originally shot and distributed in 16mm, Hospital is one of several early Wiseman productions that has recently been preserved and blown up to 35mm through the joint efforts of the Library of Congress and Zipporah Films, Wiseman’s production company. (KW)
84 min • OSTI Films • 35mm from Zipporah Films
Preceded by: “Greedy for Tweety” (Friz Freleng, 1957) – 7 min – 35mm

NEXT UP: Tangerine + All About My Mother *double feature!* on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 PM at the Music Box Theatre