16 Unexpectedly Influential Film Directors of the 20th Century


Frederick Wiseman

Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman made a controversial splash with his first picture, 1967's Titicut Follies, a harrowing look at a Massachusetts institution for the mentally ill. The movie became the template for Wiseman's subsequent work -- a keen interest in the everyday but frequently hidden aspects of American life. Titicut Follies was followed by a score of poignant documentaries, and Wiseman's work is a direct link to latter-day socially conscious documentaries, such as Hoop Dreams (1994), Stevie (2002), The Thin Blue Line (1988), and even Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004).