Docs

Wiseman cues the fat lady

For over 30 years, Frederick Wiseman has found and filmed the drama of everyday life. Now, he's adapting his work to the most dramatic outlet available.
May 1, 2004

For over 30 years, Frederick Wiseman has found and filmed the drama of everyday life. Now, he’s adapting his work to the most dramatic outlet available.

Welfare: The Opera will stage Wiseman’s powerful 1975 doc about people struggling within New York’s public assistance program. The set will feature screens with scenes from the original doc, as well as footage shot by Wiseman during the opera. ‘The idea was to have someone on stage making a doc during the performance of the documentary,’ says Wiseman. ‘It’s a self parody of doc filmmaking. In my sick mind, I thought this was funny. And, it unifies the disparate events.’

The opera was set to open in New York on May 27, however, American Opera Projects, the show’s producer, claimed lack of funding and backed out of the us$150,000 production. Wiseman is now looking for new partners. ‘I’m too busy making films to be the producer,’ he says.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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