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EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Daily except Sat:
12:15   4:00   6:00   7:45
Sat, Sept 23: 12:15   4:00   7:00   7:45

Through Tuesday, September 26

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PRODUCED, DIRECTED, AND EDITED BY FREDERICK WISEMAN

Frederick Wiseman cracks open institutions: the military, the insane asylum, the high school, the police, the welfare system, the Paris Opera Ballet, the National Gallery of London, and now – in his 43rd film in 50 years - the New York Public Library, an institution eminently worthy of his immersive style. If you thought libraries are just repositories for books, you’re in for a big, wonderful surprise.  The NYPL owns (and makes accessible) millions of images; sponsors lectures by people like Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, and Ta-Nehisi Coates; circulates a growing collection of e-books; maintains a vast archive of materials not available online; and gives classes in digital technology. The magnificent Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (and 5th Avenue at 42nd Street) is the spine of the film, but equally vital is the role of branch libraries that act as community centers for civic life. “Libraries are the pillars of our democracy” says Toni Morrison – as Wiseman’s opus, EX LIBRIS, makes abundantly and fascinatingly clear.

USA • 2017 • 197 MINS. • ZIPPORAH FILMS

Click here for more information and to support the New York Public Library.

Reviews

“A breathtaking work of erudition…The 87-year-old master…is the poet laureate of the staff meeting. Above all EX LIBRIS reaffirms Wiseman as an essential American artist of our time, and, in an era of crumbling institutions and cratering civic awareness, an exemplary observer and thinker.”
– Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

*****! [5 stars]
“One of the most groundbreaking filmmakers still working. EX LIBRIS has the drive of a vociferous reader checking out and reviewing the maximum number of books their card will allow. Succeeds on multiple levels.”

– Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (UK)

“Grade A. All of his films are his best films. Hypnotic and thoroughly essential. EX LIBRIS achieves a certain emotional velocity. It will make you awe at the NY Public Library.” 
– David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“Fascinating. A mind-expanding look behind the bookshelves. EX LIBRIS (is) a political statement as well as an exciting adventure of the mind.”
– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“Exquisite.” 
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

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EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Through Tuesday, September 26