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More than four decades into his career Frederick Wiseman remains the most prominent invisible man of American documentary film. His movies offer no voice-over, no talking heads, no graphics or intertitles: in other words, none of the cues and signposts we have come to expect from nonfiction films. Mr. Wiseman, who turns 80 in January, has likened his approach, to “getting rid of the proscenium arch in the theater.” This dictum applies even when his subjects are on an actual stage, as in “La Comédie-Française,” his 1996 study of that venerable repertory company, and his latest film, “La Danse,” another French cultural immersion, this time with the Paris Opera Ballet.
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