Watch Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is a movie starring Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elvis Costello, and Richard Dawkins. A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Other Titles
Ex Libris: Nowojorska Biblioteka Publiczna, Ex Libris, ニューヨーク公共図書館 エクス・リブリス, ニューヨーク公共図書館 エクス・リブリス, Ex Libris: La biblioteca pública de Nueva York, Ex Libris: Die Public Library von New York, Ex Libris: New York Public Library
Running Time
3 hours 17 minutes
Quality
480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K
Genres
Documentary
Director
Frederick Wiseman
Actors
Richard Dawkins, Elvis Costello, Edmund de Waal, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Country
USA
Year
2017
Audio Languages
English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Svenska, Gaeilge, Nederlands
Subtitles
日本語, Čeština, Tiếng Việt, Português, 한국어, Australia, Filipino, हिन्दी

A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Comments about documentary «Ex Libris: The New York Public Library» (20)

Crystal photo
Crystal

I always enjoy having the opportunity to see an exceptional film, and this was my first time to see, The New York Public Library. It was a fascinating look at the life and times of this monumental institution of the city, especially for people who are new to the New York Public Library. The film was both informative and entertaining, and offered some good social commentary and stories of history behind it. However, I was not able to connect with all of the stories and moments, and this may have been due to the amount of different characters and personalities that were interviewed. The time it takes for people to tell their story is definitely too slow, and there were a few times during the movie where I had to remind myself that I was watching an animation and not a documentary. However, for the most part, I found the movie to be interesting, and an interesting look at the organization. I do not see the use of this film to be to make people have a larger awareness of this organization, but rather a reflection of the organization itself. This movie could have used a bit more substance, however, the film had enough to keep me interested, and I believe it will be interesting for the people who are new to this organization.

Donna photo
Donna

This documentary is a must-see for anyone who loves film and knows how to appreciate it. Director and writer Alex Gibney introduces us to the people, places and artifacts that give New York a unique and sometimes rough-hewn appearance, and he tells us about his experiences with the NYPL in its archives. While these photographs are beautiful, the history of the New York Public Library is equally as interesting, and I'd argue the film is the most enjoyable documentary about the Library ever made. It's full of striking images, some of which are in the film (like the astounding "Long Goodbye") and some of which aren't (like the "Killing Nazis" display). The sounds in the film are also really great, as are the 3D animations and the sound track. I think the best thing about the film is that it gives us the chance to see the place (mostly) in its full glory, which is a rare treat in a doc. The worst thing about the film is the length, which may have contributed to the 4.5 rating. It feels like it's in and out of time. I think we'll be hearing a lot more about the NYPL and its history in the future.

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Gerald M.

I enjoyed this movie. It was very visually interesting, a must for any true scholar. I also loved the social commentary, the historical period detail, and the writing. I have a lot of experience with this kind of material. I am a historian, and I am deeply interested in what are the social undertones in stories that go from one generation to the next. So I was very pleased that the movie was able to tell us a bit of that story. All of the actors were very good, in addition to everyone else involved in the film. I especially liked the wise old lady. Her comment about the Great Depression and the lives of the people that came after her was very interesting. I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in social studies.

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Thomas E.

I like to watch movies and documentaries, but this was by far the best. The movie is a summary of the events in history and how they were portrayed. Some of the movies are not realistic and in this case the depiction of events is from a true event, which was something that really made the movie interesting. People who have a background in history will find this interesting. The movie covers some great events in history and the movie is not boring. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to watch movies. I have seen this movie twice now and have watched it more than a dozen times.

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Adam S.

I was just reading the reviews here and thought I should check out this documentary. I don't think I will ever want to get those rare audio books (or anything else) into the hands of someone who doesn't know how to read them. I really thought that would be the case with this documentary but I think they did a fine job in illustrating the various ways people are trying to do that. I think that the main thing that drew me to it was that it gave me a really good idea of the problems with their format and the commitment it takes to deliver the records. I'm still not sure if this was a documentary or a movie. But I'm happy that they gave some insight into what they are doing and why they are doing it. I also think that having a minority group as a major narrator was really cool and something that was not very often in my experience. To me it seemed that the biggest complaint about the various formats is that they are too expensive. I'm not sure how much money they are going to make off this project. I wouldn't be surprised if they make money from it. It was a pretty unique documentary. The overall plot was very interesting and I think a lot of people should check it out. I am still not sure whether or not I'll watch it again but I think I will go back to it and watch it again. If you are interested in the history of the public library in New York or the role that the library plays in American culture I think this is a good movie to check out.

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Gary Reynolds

It's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. The audience will have a visceral reaction to every question, and the intellectual audience will be amazed at the level of depth and scope of the data presented in the film. The film's strength lies in its brevity: it jumps to the story at any given moment. This gives the audience more time to get to know the subjects, which is ultimately the better route to going to the information. Even the most lazy person should recognize that this is a technique that makes a difference. But it's really easy to spoil the movie by having a muddled plot and several different subplots that don't connect. We all know that documentaries are supposed to be condensed into a single topic, so the whole "serial killers should be put on trial" topic is obvious, but having multiple stories about different serial killers that don't connect makes it more difficult to keep track of. The two best documentaries I've seen are "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "David Fincher's Fight Club", so this film should be an easy choice. There's nothing in the movie that I didn't already know, so it didn't take a lot of thinking to figure out the big ideas in the movie. The one area where I felt that the film was lacking was the plot, but the information is extremely important. I hope to see more of this film in the future.

Danielle photo
Danielle

In this documentary, the camera catches a number of people, including the head librarian of the New York Public Library. He describes the work of the library and how he spends his time. You get to hear from people who work there, like a deputy librarian, who is called to deal with children and other people in need. You get to hear from a woman who is a librarian and is a lesbian, who also works at the library, and this gives you an idea of the kinds of people working there. You hear from a guy who is trying to help with an old library, which is in trouble, and you also get a great sense of what libraries do, and the importance of a library. The footage is not particularly long, but it is well worth the watch. I also liked the description of the library's work, and how it is important to people all over the world. Overall, this is a good documentary, and worth watching.

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Sandra Garza

This is a documentary about the most famous video library in the United States. That's a pretty lofty goal, and the one thing that the library accomplishes is just that: A library. And one of the things that they do is allow people to view free videos. And they do this with one of the best libraries in the world. What makes it so interesting is that the library in question is the New York Public Library, and as a documentary it doesn't go into the story of how they got to this point, but rather how they were able to adapt to a new technology and work with some people who were new to the library. But the big idea here is the way the library utilizes it's wealth of resources and the way that it adapts to changes. As the movie progresses, the library begins to get more and more into the computer science of their system. One thing that is really interesting to note is the amount of video files that the library gets every day. There's a lot of fun in this movie because it allows the viewer to feel like they are part of the video library. Even if it isn't the director, it's really great to see how these videos get stored and to see how their existence is spread out to the rest of the world. And when you get to see the library, you get to see the different ways that they move through their computer system. You get to see how they get rid of videos they don't need, how they get new videos through the system, and then you see how they organize their library. So there are many interesting things that the library does with it's resources and how they adapt to new technology. I liked that this movie looked at how they adapt to new technology. You could feel like you were part of the library. And I also liked that the movie didn't go into the details of how the library was organized and used. The director didn't want to take away the fact that this is a video library, and you don't get to see how that works. And I also liked that the director didn't want to go into the way that they adapted to new technology. What you get to see is how they keep all the video files in their system and how they manage that. I think that's one of the best parts of the movie. Overall, this is a very interesting and engaging documentary that I would recommend to anyone who has the time to watch it.

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Roy B.

Loved the movie. Great storytelling and a lot of attention to detail. Worth watching and a great insight into the struggles of modern library society. Great work by all involved.

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Ruth

I saw this film last week at the New York Public Library, and enjoyed it very much. My main problem with the film was that it only seemed to have a few chapters, and no full length feature film. I feel like it could have used more chapters, like it has the potential to be a very lengthy film, but it is only a little over two hours, and seems like a documentary. I think the best of this film is the interview with the founders of this library. I think that most of the film is about the interviews with the founders, and how the library has evolved and changed in the past 100 years. It is well done, and should appeal to everyone interested in the history of libraries. I think the best part of the film is the discussion of the library at its founding, as well as how the library has evolved and changed in the past 100 years. I think the film could have been longer, but there was no problem with that, as I would say, there are only two full length feature films in this library's history, which I think is a good thing. The directors of this film did a great job, and I think that there were many inaccuracies that can be found in the film, like that the library didn't have bookshelves, nor did it have a library desk, nor did it have libraries with video monitors in them. I think that it was a great film, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in history of libraries. I think that the library should be ashamed of the film, as it is definitely not representative of what libraries are really like, nor what libraries are really like in the early 1900s. Hopefully, a better film will be made in the future, and the archives at the library will expand into an entirely new chapter of their history.

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Jennifer A.

I remember having a copy of this documentary in my video library many years ago. I watched it and it changed my life. I am a historian of the Library of Congress. I believe that there are much more important things that need to be learned from this wonderful collection than they are told in this documentary. If you haven't seen it, watch it. Even if you haven't seen it, it's worth the time. It is a very well-produced documentary that shows the importance of the Library of Congress. If you are a history buff or if you're just curious about the Library of Congress, then this is a documentary that you should see.

Edward James photo
Edward James

Some people are put in a situation in which they don't know how to handle it, but it really is the case. Every time we get a new occasion of a crisis in our lives, we are subject to it, and it makes us want to find new ways to deal with it. That's the aim of the film 'Fiction', but it's not just the need to solve problems and end up with a happy ending, but it also emphasizes the need to know how to deal with it. There are so many conflicting issues in life, and it is really the case that every time you think you know what is going to happen next, something will happen. When that happens, it's really difficult to deal with it. Sometimes it is just unavoidable. There is always the risk of being caught in the middle of a problem, and that makes us want to know what we can do to solve it. 'Fiction' really has a lot of things to say about how we deal with problems and when we do not know what to do, but it is just the same as every other film that you find, but it does so with a different twist. It has a different approach that I have not seen in a film before. There is an atmosphere that makes it interesting. It does not feel like a documentary, but more like a documentary. You really feel the issues in the film, but you also feel how the director is not telling you what to do, but just asking you to know how to deal with it. It really is a unique film that is also very unique. I recommend it.

Victoria Gray photo
Victoria Gray

On the last day of its short film festival, the NYPL hosted a screening of CINEFEX: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY. We were fortunate enough to be present at a screening last night, and I highly recommend you go and see this documentary. It is incredibly well done. As the people who lived through the period (for a very, very long time), we saw many of the same things that were shown in the film. For example, the soldiers were shown as "well-adjusted" people who were well-fed and were well-treated. We also saw the rise of the Fascists and the end of the Depression as the movie was showing. It is extremely important to see the ending of the film, because it shows that Hitler was not a "bad guy" and that he was a misunderstood genius. And, most importantly, it shows that the destruction of the family unit by divorce was devastating for both generations. The ending of the film is completely unexpected, and even though the audience applauded at the end, the audience was shocked to see that the audience applauded in response to the applause of the soldiers at the end of the film. The film's message is a very simple one, but one that is not taught in school or even in most films. If you want to see a good movie about the times we lived in during the Second World War, go and see CINEFEX: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY.

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Jeremy R.

I saw this documentary a few years back and it was so disappointing. It was a very good documentary, but it should have been more thorough. The archival footage is very informative and helps to set the stage for understanding the story. I'm glad I saw it, but it could have been a lot better.

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Joe Wells

I had a copy of this film for a year or so, but I had never watched it. Now that I have I have to say that it is a good film, well worth watching, and in some ways it is far better than most that it's been compared to. I think a good film is about telling a story and doing it well, and this is a good film in that sense. The acting is not bad at all, although I thought some of the cast could have done a bit more. The story is well told, the time and location of the story is well chosen and the fact that the film is narrated by (well, if you're an art lover you will know what I mean) Michelangelo is not bad, I thought he was a good choice to play the title character. As for the other cast members there was a lot of good ones, and in fact some of them were all superb. You really get to know the actors and the story. The book, "Inside the New York Public Library", is a good read, so this is another good film that should be watched by all those who read this book. I was pleasantly surprised at some things, such as the clothes worn by the characters, the "mockumentary" style of filming which I have never seen before. I could not agree more with what other people said about this film. I'm sure it will be praised by some and criticised by others, but to me, I found it a good film, with a good story and well told. A must see for all!

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Jacob

A wonderful film about a great book. If you don't already know who aces Sigmund Freud, you're in for a real treat. I haven't read "Freud" but I have read other books by the great Freud, and this film has made me familiar with them all. It makes me want to read more of Freud's writings. I'm not that big a fan of "psychology" or "pharmacy," so I am not sure if I would like this film as much if I knew something about them. But this film is not about them, or a "torture-porn" or anything like that. The film is about the work and ideas of Sigmund Freud, and the depiction of his life is absolutely fascinating. It's a very funny movie, but it is also extremely interesting. A great film. The only slight complaint I have about the film is that it starts out as a good idea and ends up as a bad idea. But that's probably due to me not having read the book, so I can't really blame the producers for that. Overall, a very good film, and one I recommend for any serious Freud fan. I rate it 8/10.

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Martha

I saw the film at the New York Public Library. I was very impressed by the cinematography and the superb lighting. It was stunning to see how the library displays a visual record of the digital copies of historical documents. The grainy films with a color display allowed me to take in details of text without having to read them. The service provided was fast and easy, as was the request to purchase my favorite books for me. The service was perfect for me. If you live in New York City, go see the film! I want to see it again!

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Marie Bell

In a clear and concise discussion of the artistic response to the book and its visual impact, I had a chance to ask the producer and co-director of "Lebedecim". to tell me what the movie was about and how it was received by critics. In the end, I got the same answers I'd expected from an audience discussion. The movie was about art, but not about its success in the marketplace. The film did not comment on its creative effects. Instead, it aimed to use the film as a platform to talk about the failures of the publishing industry and how artists can be better self-advocates. Some interesting observations were made regarding the visual medium and the meaning of art. The word "art" was used to describe the film in one sentence. What was the film? To me, "Lebedecim" was about the writing and the concept of the artistic medium as a way of getting your message across to an audience. It was about the art of creating art and using the medium to communicate with the viewer. It was about the power of words. It was about the art of the words as the medium to convey an idea or message to an audience. The medium of art could be the writing, the photos, the pictures, or the pictures as a medium. The art of art itself was about words as the medium and the powerful messages that can be conveyed through these words. That was the way the producer and director said it. But perhaps it was more about the messages of the movie itself. The fact that a film about the words and the power of words, as a medium, is supposed to be about art. Art is not about success. It is about wanting to express yourself and say something powerful to someone or something else. What the movie was about was how artists can use words to communicate. Not to say that these words are worthless, but what would be more powerful? A film about how to create art or how to use the art medium to communicate something powerful and powerful? Yes, the movie did use the word "art" but what it was actually about was the power of art itself. It was a movie about the art of writing and the power of the art medium itself. What's wrong with that?

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Kelly J.

This documentary was truly amazing! I saw the film at the Brooklyn Public Library and was totally impressed with it. I have been a patron of the Brooklyn Public Library for over 40 years and have visited over 200 times! I was quite pleased to see that this film covered so many topics. I learned about the history of the Brooklyn Public Library and how it was founded and how it is now located in Brooklyn. I learned about the history of black and white graffiti artists, the history of lynching and the history of the book burning! I really enjoyed the film! If you are a fan of the library or just love documentaries, I highly recommend this film! I feel that the Library is getting an even greater respect and appreciation over time!

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Joan H.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is an incredibly complex, well-organized organization, which is also the largest library in the world. I work at the NYPL and I learned much about this organization from this documentary. I think it's fantastic how they detail the history of the NYPL and how it changed the history of library. One of the things that I really appreciated is that they did an excellent job of exploring the history of the library. I also appreciate the fact that they didn't try to be "hip" and try to be a history buff. They showed how the library is based on a combination of old and new technologies. The result of the NYPL is a really well-organized and organized library with lots of information on both old and new technologies. I have heard many people talking about how they don't understand the old technology, but they can actually use it to learn about the new technology. So this is one of the main things that I want to know more about. Overall, the NYPL is a really well-organized organization and it's very impressive to see how the organization changed the history of library and also how it has changed over the years. This is probably one of the most well-organized libraries in the world, but they are doing a really good job of explaining the history and how they have changed over the years.