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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

Cinema Eye to Present 2012 Legacy Award to Frederick Wiseman’s Titicut Follies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 7, 2011 – New York – The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking today announced that the 2012 Legacy Award will be presented to the landmark 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies, a stark and graphic portrayal of the conditions that existed at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman will accept the award on behalf of the film at this year’s Cinema Eye ceremony.

“It’s hard for me to believe that Titicut Follies was shot forty-six years ago,” said Wiseman.  “I’m thrilled to receive the Cinema Eye Legacy Award but it is tough for me to deal with the implications.”

The award will be presented on January 11, 2012 at the 5th Annual Cinema Eye Honors ceremony to be held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.  A Stranger Than Fiction screening of Titicut Follies will be held the following week, on January 17, at the IFC Center, on the eve of the opening of Wiseman’s latest film, Crazy Horse, which debuts at New York’s Film Forum on January 18, before rolling out to theaters nationwide.

“Few filmmakers – in fiction or nonfiction – have created such an enduring body of work that is also, uniquely, their own as Frederick Wiseman,” said Cinema Eye’s Advisory Chair Andrea Meditch.  “The legacy of Titicut Follies stands as a beacon to all of today’s filmmakers for its unflinching honesty and the lingering power of John Marshall’s camera and Wiseman’s editing.”

Titicut Follies is a remarkable film, both for its unwavering look at a failed institution and as the template for the decades of Wiseman films that would follow,” said Laura Poitras, the Chair of the Cinema Eye Filmmaker Advisory Board, which voted to give the Legacy Award to Titicut Follies. “As filmmakers, we look to Wiseman as an inspiration and we are honored to salute the debut film of this vital American auteur.”

This is the third year that Cinema Eye will present a Legacy Award, intended to honor classic films that inspire a new generation of filmmakers and embody the Cinema Eye mission: excellence in creative and artistic achievements in nonfiction films.  The Legacy Award celebrates the entire creative team behind the chosen film.  This year marked the first time that Cinema Eye’s newly established Filmmaker Advisory Board voted on the recipient of the award.  Previous Legacy Awards went to Ross McElwee’s Sherman’s March and the Maysles Brothers’ Grey Gardens.

About Frederick Wiseman
Frederick Wiseman has made 37 documentaries and 2 fiction films. Among his documentaries are Titicut FolliesWelfare,Public HousingNear DeathLa Comédie Française ou l’Amour Joué, and La Danse—Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris. His documentaries are dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray the joy, sadness, comedy and tragedy of ordinary experience. He has won numerous awards including four Emmys, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His films have played in theatres and been broadcast on television in many countries. He is also a theatre director and has directed “The Last Letter,” based on a chapter of Vasily Grossman’s novel Life and Fate, and Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” at the Comédie Française. He is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Cinema Eye Honors and the 2012 Awards
The Cinema Eye Honors were founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking.  It remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize the whole creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation.  The 5th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will be held January 11, 2012 at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.  Nominees for the 2012 awards were announced on October 26, 2011.  A full list of nominees can be found atwww.cinemaeyehonors.com.

Cinema Eye is headed by a core team that includes Co-Chairs Esther Robinson (director, A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Debut, 2008) and AJ Schnack (director, Kurt Cobain About A Son and founder of Cinema Eye), Producer Nathan Truesdell (producer, Convention), Nominations Committee Chair Sean Farnel (Former Head of Programming, Hot Docs Film Festival), Advisory Board Chair Andrea Meditch (executive producer, Buck and Man on Wire) and Filmmaker Advisory Board Chair Laura Poitras (director, The Oath; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Direction, 2011).

The members of the Cinema Eye Filmmaker Advisory Board include Mila Aung-Thwin (producer, Up the Yangtze and Last Train Home, Cinema Eye winner for Production 2011); RJ Cutler (director, The September Issue, Cinema Eye winner for Audience Choice, 2010); Sam Green (director, Utopia in Four Movements and The Weather Underground); Ellen Kuras (director, The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Cinema Eye Nominee for Debut, 2009); Audrey Marrs (producer, Inside Job; Cinema Eye nominee for Production, 2011), James Marsh (director, Man on Wire; Cinema Eye winner for Feature, 2009); Morgan Spurlock (director, POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) and Jennifer Venditti (director, Billy the Kid, Cinema Eye winner for Debut, 2008).

For more information about Cinema Eye, visit the website at http://www.cinemaeyehonors.com and follow Cinema Eye on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cinemaeyehonors.

For more information about Frederick Wiseman and his films, visit Zipporah Films at www.zipporah.com.

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~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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