Monday, November 5, 2018


High School typing class

HIGH SCHOOL shows no stretching of minds. It does show the overwhelming dreariness of administrators and teachers who confuse teaching with discipline. The school somehow takes warm, breathing teen-agers and tries to turn them into 40-year old mental eunuchs… No wonder the kids turn off, stare out windows, become surly, try to escape… The most frightening thing about ‘HIGH SCHOOL’ is that it captures the battlefield so clearly; the film is too true.
–Peter Janssen, Newsweek

It's hard to follow a review like that-only to state that it's interesting that director Frederick Wiseman just lets his camera roll and what happens happens without much commentary. The movie feels like a time capsule from a different era (1968, Philadelphia) considering these high school student are in their mid to late 60's today. Plot points are of their time, such as the concerns of the war in Vietnam and the recreation of what it's like to be in outer space. In other ways, the problems seem the same as you would see today: Bullies picking on the weaker kids, teachers admonishing students having discipline problems and seniors trying to get into a good college. 

Prolific documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has been making documentary films for a half century now. His first director credit was The Titicut Follies (dealing with the criminally insane) in 1967 and his last was Ex-Libris (about the New York Public Libary) in 2017. Many of his films can be seen for free on the library film service, Kanopy.  

 High School Teacher/counselor vs...

...High School student

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