gelado #30

I have a great antipathy towards didacticism. I think, when my films work, they work in part because they bring a place to people. But I’m not trying to tell anyone what to think about it, nor am I trying to suggest how they should use it. What I’m trying to do – or at least I think I’m trying to do – is make the best movie about the material in a form that works as a movie.

And I have a real horror of didacticism, whether it’s in movies or in literature. You know the old bromide by the famous philosopher Samuel Goldwyn: “When you have a message, send a telegram.”

When I say I’m not interested in didacticism, I mean I don’t like to hit people over the head with a message. Because if I could say what the point of view of the film is in 25 words or less, I shouldn’t make the film.

Somebody after a screening of Welfare some years ago raised their hand in a question period and said, “What’s the movie about?” And I said, “About three hours.”

Frederick Wiseman.

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