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Past Films

Ex Libris: New York Public Library

  • Director: Frederick Wiseman
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 197 min.

There will be a preshow panel at 11:45am with librarians, Regina Greer Cooper (Executive Director), Nancee Dahms-Stinson, (Youth Services Coordinator), and Gay Wilson (Planning & Development Librarian). They will discuss the past, present and future of our local library system.

Synopsis: In this, the 42nd documentary by Frederick Wiseman (recipient of an Honorary Oscar in 2016), the legendary filmmaker brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of NYC’s library system. The NYPL is blessed with uniformly passionate staff and deeply devoted, appreciative bibliophiles and beneficiaries across its 92 branches. The film reveals a venerable place of welcome, cultural exchange, and intellectual creativity.

"Ex Libris is a profoundly hopeful movie. We could use that right now."
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is more than a magisterial mash note to that distinguished establishment, it's a heartening examination of the vastness of human knowledge and the multiple ways we the people endeavor to access it."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"One of the greatest movies of Mr. Wiseman's extraordinary career and one of his most thrilling."
- Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Graceful and all-embracing "
- Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"A film about the importance of cultural history and truth (two things deeply under siege these days), Wiseman's epic Ex Libris might make you cry with happiness; it's the good fight being fought."
- Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out
"These portraits don't have a hint of didacticism or preachiness, but "Ex Libris" achieves a certain emotional velocity all the same."
- David Ehrlich, indieWire
"Never talking down to his audience, [Wiseman] rather pulls them up to an intellectual level where other filmmakers fear to go."
- Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

Showtimes