Thursday, April 27
(1968) “Do you have a pass to use the phone?” – “Don’t give me that ‘Yes, sir’ business!” Sound familiar? This time it’s Philly’s middle-class Northeast High, but the plethora of petty rules, rampant apathy, and teachers’ X-ray vision for disrespect could be anywhere and everywhere. 35mm. Approx. 75 mins.
“[AN] AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY LANDMARK, a captivatingly forthright portrayal of an ordinary American high school and the continuous familiar squabbles between teachers and students. The film is beautifully photographed, abundant in close-ups; Wiseman’s ability to get up close to students and render smaller narratives all while going seemingly unnoticed is an incredible feat. The way Wiseman’s directorial presence disappears in High School is an extraordinary and captivating effect. And although it’s a well familiar style, it’s still just as effective nearly 50 years later.”
– Alejandro Veciana, Brooklyn Magazine
“The high school is the very heart of America, and Wiseman has captured its strength and rhythm perfectly.”
– The New York Review of Books
“This is where he started to truly discover his gift for juxtaposition, learning to create meaning from the proximity of one fly-on-the-wall vignette to another… If Wiseman has always resisted the cinema verité label that’s often put on his work, it’s because he understands that selecting what to include and not to include from the raw footage—five weeks worth, in this case—bends the very reality a film depicts.”
– A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club