Wednesday, September 10, 2014

501. High School

High School
Directed by Frederick Wiseman

I actually saw this movie in a film class I took freshman year of college.  I am quite glad I did, since this seems to be a hard one to get a hold of.  While I wouldn't say that this is a favorite movie, I am certainly glad I saw it.

This is a documentary on a typical high school day in 1969.  We see many of the mundane events that make up a day in high school, including a gym class, an assembly, a sex ed class, and a creepy male teacher that stared a little too long at girls doing jumping jacks.  As someone who came from a high school where there were quite a few sex scandals, I can relate.

I love books and movies that really show how shitty high school is.  I am not talking about movies that show a pretty girl in glasses being made fun of by a slightly less pretty girl in a cheerleading outfit.  I am talking about showing the cruelty of some teachers and portraying the feeling of complete helplessness that you have everyday.  Can you tell I did not enjoy high school?

It was amazing to me how little has changed since this film came out.  Definitely a must see film.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

One of the first direct cinema documentaries.


  1. I always hear good things about this film, but have never watched it. Sounds interesting.

  2. One of those co-incidences, Andrew has only just done this one, so I find it hard to come up with more comments..
    Suffice to say, it has made we interested to look for more films by Fred Wiseman

  3. You should definitely check it out Larry! And damn Andrew, beating me to the punch.

  4. Here is the crazy thing: Everybody including the Book tells me this is a movie critical to the school system, that the school depicted is cruel and nasty to the students, yet when I saw it I saw nothing or very little of it. It simply looked like any other High school for better or worse. Sure some things are tedious and some gets detention for misbehaving, but what is so terrible about this one? They even have discussion classes to engage the students and a cool NASA experiment going on. Sex ed could be a lot worse, this guy was actually funny.
    Clearly I have completely misunderstood this movie.