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National Gallery: the paintings are the point

Frederick Wiseman's beautiful and absorbing new film never loses sight of why people still flock to the National Gallery

By Sebastian Smee   February 2015

Ballet dancer Leann Benjamin performs at the National Gallery. © Zipporah Films

Filming 12 hours a day over 12 weeks, the documentary maker Frederick Wiseman made his latest film The National Gallery in the winter of 2012. Wiseman, who was born in Boston and is now 85, is famous for his patient and revealing studies of institutions at work. His breakthrough film, Titicut Follies (1967), was set at a hospital for the criminally insane in Massachusetts. At Berkeley…

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