High School, in addition to its other considerable merits, should lay to rest once and for all [the] mystique of "interesting personalities" in direct-cinema films….
Frederick Wiseman's films are about indispensable institutions in conflict with the people they are supposed to be serving…. Each of his films has an episodic structure, a lack of emphasis on individual personalities, and a general diffidence about verbal information. What matters in a Wiseman film is not necessarily what people say to each other, but the tone in which they are speaking and the degree of emotion behind their words. Attitudes rather than factual information are the substantive content of his films. (p. 49)...
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