The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 10-16

06/10/2015 5:00 AM |


Hospital (1969)
Directed by Frederick Wiseman
Documenting “do no harm” gone ad nauseam, Hospital is one of Wiseman’s great institutional portraits and great records of empathy. As usual, the renowned vérité documentarian spent several weeks filming on site, in this case New York Metropolitan Hospital, his camera following doctors, nurses, a kid on a bad mescaline trip, a couple’s bedside clasped hands. The inclination may be to see Hospital as a time capsule (paper EKG printouts, paper medicine cups, paper nurse hats), but that’s not the reality nor the feeling of this film. That people seeking aid and those seeking to relieve them could be impersonal, distant, and cruel is nothing new, but sadly also nothing old. Hospital remains revealing, moving, and enduringly present. Jeremy Polacek (June 14, 5pm at the Museum of the Moving Image, with Wiseman intro live via Skype)