100 Frames: Frederick Wiseman’s Hospital


“This movie is the most disturbingly accurate depiction of my workplace that I have ever seen. It gives few indications of the time of day. The light is fluorescent, the shadows unchanging. But that doesn’t matter: The sorrow may speed up or slow down, but it never ends. Night or day.”—Paul Austin

A selection of 100 still frames from the classic 1970 documentary Hospital—filmmaker Frederick Wiseman's unforgettable portrait of New York City's Metropolitan Hospital—is introduced by the emergency-room physician and author Paul Austin.

RELATED EVENT: Screening of Hospital at the Museum of the Moving Image

Boston native Frederick Wiseman is a filmmaker, documentarian, and theater director. Wiseman began making documentaries after serving in the U.S. military during World War II and briefly teaching law at Boston University’s Institute of Law and Medicine. Among the 40 films he has directed over the past half-century are Titicut Follies (1967), Hospital (1970), Missile (1987), Belfast, Maine (1999), and National Gallery (2014). Wiseman has received both Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships and countless other awards, including a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and an Academy Honorary Award. He has also worked on many theatrical productions, including Samuel Beckett’s Oh Les Beaux Jours, which he directed in Paris in 2006, and Welfare: The Opera, which he wrote and directed.

Paul Austin is an emergency-room physician and the author of two memoirs: Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER (2009) and Beautiful Eyes: A Father Transformed (2014), both published by W. W. Norton. His essays have been featured in Creative Nonfiction, The Southeast Review, and The Gettysburg Review. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and three children.