Monday, February 5
Directed by Frederick Wiseman
(1970) Real-life ER, as the harried-but-dedicated staff of NYC’s Metropolitan Hospital handles stabbings, abused children, discarded seniors, mental cases, an apologetic teenager puking up an overdose, and the ultimate horror: bureaucracy. 35mm. Approx. 84 min.
“It is as open and revealing as filmed experience has ever been. You look misery in the eye and you realize there’s nothing to be afraid of… By the end we are so thoroughly involved… that tears well up, because we simply have no other means of responding to the intensity of this plain view of the ordinary activities in Metropolitan Hospital.”
– Pauline Kael
“Does working in this field make someone clinically detached or more compassionate? Wiseman entertains both sides of the argument, alternating scenes of rough bedside manner—as well as one unnerving instance of med students nonchalantly handling human brains—with others showing how nurses and doctors sometimes go the extra distance, even attempting to back-channel around bureaucratic obstacles to get their patients what they need. Hospital understands its titular setting as just a single part of a larger system, one that these medical professionals often bump up against.”
– A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club