is presented entirely in fly-on-the-wall style, following staff, contractors and visitors around the vast cultural complex. This is filmmaking as understated as it is lushly colourful, casting a droll eye on the museum’s workings.
Managers discuss the government’s austerity measures and their funding cuts while guests marvel at the blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. Tour guides attempt to marshal sportive children while, underneath the exhibits, restorers work with intense vigour to keep the gallery’s paintings pristine. And what paintings they are – Leonardo, Titian, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Rembrandt and many, many more. With a focus on the gallery’s sublime holdings in the Old Masters, Wiseman presents masterpieces both famed and obscure, largely in terms of the museum staff’s interactions with them. Curators display their deep knowledge and passion for the art they work around. By National Gallery’s close, you will feel deeply invested in the institution.
Amongst his other achievements in fiction film and theatre, Frederick Wiseman is a pioneer of observational cinema. His documentaries take reams and reams of quietly taken footage and painstakingly assemble them to create something personal and aesthetically moving; the unstaged footage becomes a semi-dramatic work. There is no narration, on-screen text or talking head interviews. Wiseman’s acclaimed recent films have all been similar in form and structure to National Gallery, opening up institutions like the Idaho State Legislature, the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris and Berkeley University. This year in Venice, mere months after National Gallery premiered in Cannes, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
09 Jan 15 – 28 Feb 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more information|