Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

A Very High School 

Wednesday, Oct 15 2008
Comments
The great American student-government election: Teenagers exposing their fragile egos to public ballot-box rejection and spending a small fortune on poster board, all for the possible distinction of assigning Homecoming subcommittees and allocating school funds for a laminator. This is the stuff of which Frontrunners is made. Caroline Suh’s doc exists somewhere between Robert Drew’s Primary and reality TV, following the 2007 election cycle at New York City’s cream-of-the-crop Stuyvesant High School, where the student (busy)body is made up of potential valedictorians from every borough. That the student-government “popularity contest” is a microcosm of the adult political arena is an old saw — see Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s perennially quoted “High school is closer to the core of the American experience than anything else I can think of.” To that idea we owe primary-season think pieces recasting Alexander Payne’s Election with Barack and Hillary, as well as Frontrunners’ savvy election-eve release date. Tactfully keeping away from actual policy details and emotionally sticky stuff, cutting for punchlines, and overlaying campaigning montages with a playlist shuffle of kazoo-whimsical indie feyness, Suh shows herself ever-happy to settle for the shallow rewards of pop documentary here. Depending on your level of fatigue with The Other Campaign, this may be good enough.
Oct. 24-30, 2008

About The Author

Nick Pinkerton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Third Eye Blind @ The Masonic
    Third Eye Blind performed on Sunday, July 26 at The Masonic to a sold out show with the support of Dashboard Confessional & Ex-Cops. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.
  • Morrissey @ San Jose Events Center
    The last stop for Morrissey serenaded the sold out crowd during his only Northern California date on Saturday, July 25 at the San Jose Events Center. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed