Titicut Follies and other Wiseman documentaries

I’ve been interested in the documentaries of Frederick Wiseman for a couple of years now, following a video-projected showing of Hospital at a local art gallery in Baltimore that really put my head in a spin.

Especially Titicut Follies, which has quite a rep of being rather disturbing…all the reviews I’ve read, and the pictures I’ve seen of the film, have a kind of dreadful feeling to them. I consider it a personal mission to see this film, but it’s apparently unavailable in any commercial sense. Wiseman himself sells VHS copies for 400 bucks, but that’s obviously not an option for me.

His other documentaries are just as hard to find. The art gallery that showed Hospital got their worn-out VHS from a private collector.

Does anyone have any info on how to locate them (online rentals, broadcasts, libraries, etc.) other than purchasing bootlegged copies off of Ebay?

I’ve got Follies on tape because I recorded it off PBS. They’ve been known to show some of his other films, too, so check your local listings. I imagine if you’ve got satellite, some of the more eclectic channels will show his work, although some recent efforts run really long (4 hours+) so that would be a problem.

If you ever get a chance, be sure to check out High School, Welfare, Near Death, Public Housing, the list goes on and on. Brilliant.