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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: Wiseman and Public Television

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By the 1970s Frederick Wiseman had come to enjoy a unique position as the leading supplier of prestige documentaries to the Public Television network. He was ideally placed to take advantage of the upheavals then underway in public television provision. He was blessed with an enlightened commissioning executive and his own mastery of complex narrative strategies; nevertheless as the decade progressed his challenge to the norms of documentary narrative became ever more extreme.

Keywords: WNET; Wiseman; audience reception; documentary; narrative strategy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/sdf.3.2.95/1

Affiliations: University of Lincoln.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • Studies in Documentary Film is the first refereed scholarly journal devoted to the history, theory, criticism and practice of documentary film. In recent years we have witnessed an increased visibility for documentary film through conferences, the success of general theatrical releases and the re-emergence of scholarship in documentary film studies.
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