“Nobody talks seriously about writing the Great American Novel anymore, but Wiseman belongs to a generation that used to, and his body of work, when considered in the manner he lays out above, represents the nearest contemporary equivalent I can think of. Especially when viewed in Wiseman’s terms — as a single, ongoing project — the scope and ambition become panoramic, a national monument. Norman Mailer used to refer to his desire to write the Great American Novel in tragic-heroic terms, casting himself as an Ahab in doomed pursuit of what he called “the big one.” Wouldn’t it be funny, though, if the Great American Novel actually does exist, only it’s not a novel and has been quietly appearing in serialized form on public television for the past 50 years?”
I'd never heard of these films until I read this profile, but wow, I now want to watch them. I'm grateful they're on Kanopy so I can see them for myself.