Ex libris - The New York Public Library

V' 17

Ex libris - The New York Public Library

Frederick Wiseman
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 196min, OmdU

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Ex libris - The New York Public Library

Frederick Wiseman
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 196min, OmdU

Sound: 
Frederick Wiseman
Camera: 
John Davey
Editor: 
Frederick Wiseman
Production: 
Zipporah Films
World Sales: 
Doc&Film International
Format: 
DCP
Color

Cinematically vivisecting US-institutions since 1967, Frederick Wiseman has been able to sustain interest throughout his documentary epics because his observational approach insists that drama is woven into the fabric of everyday life. EX LIBRIS begins by introducing the NYPL as a public-private partnership. Whether sitting in on free talks by great thinkers like Patti Smith, observing a job fair in the Bronx, or peeking into a downtown recording studio. – Wiseman bounces between three different boroughs without ever losing sight of how the Library survives by giving people the resources they need. “Libraries are not about books,” someone says in the film, “libraries are about people.” As EX LIBRIS makes clear, the NYPL is more than just a repository of dusty hardcovers. It’s a tree with 92 branches, and deep roots that bind new york city together. It’s a living organism that allows people to better discover and contextualize their place in this world. But the main source of contentionof this film — is the question of digitization. Wiseman is fascinated by how an institution of this size and significance transitions from a passive archive to an active part of the community. (David Ehrlich)