Considered the dean of American documentary filmmakers, Frederick Wiseman once said, "There is a lot of drama in ordinary experiences." It was with that attitude, that willingness to appreciate the everyday as exceptional that he approached Boxing Gym. And although the filmmaker said, "I am looking for drama, though I'm not necessarily looking for people beating each other up," at Lord's Boxing Gym in Austin, Texas, the setting for the film, that's just what happens. But the biggest drama, naturally, takes place outside the ring. Wiseman's movies are famous for their lack of narration and talking head interviews, for their seeming objectivity although we all know how editing forces us to see what the director wants us to see. Here, in Wiseman's 39th film, under the hypnotic rhythms of Wiseman's choices, the world of ritualized violence is revealed. In the rhapsodic recent review of the movie, The New York Times lauded, "It might be a boxing gym, but this is also...where people learn how not to get hit." 7 p.m. December 21, 22 and 23; 2 and 5 p.m. December 26. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.
Tue., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 23, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 26, 2 & 5 p.m., 2010