Date: Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San FranciscoAdmission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to email@example.com or (415) 558-8117
Me: A Self-Awareness Film (Color, 1975)
The refrain of “who am I?” finds its answer in inversion: “I am me.” Pat answers and affirmation abound as children revel in the wonder of their senses, embrace the emotional spectrum, and learn the Golden Rule of mutual appreciation. Like a modern prescription drug ad, the feeling is warm, carefree, and sedated. Featuring animation by Dan Bessie.
Square Pegs, Round Holes (Color, 1973)
Find your niche in Dan Bessie’s story of self-discovery for a lonely prism wandering in a world of well-greased cogs. Grungy illustrations make literal the titular phrase, depicting a metropolis of cylinders purposed to plug holes while our angular drifter searches far and wide for his complement. It’s a strange, funky journey to self-acceptance.
What Do We Look Like To Others? (Color, 1972)
In this quirky office dramatization, learn the importance of considering how others will see and judge you. The snide commentary of peeved coworkers makes us wonder no more “what do you really think of me?” From bad B.O. to skimpy skirts, everyone is a critic in this office of enemies.
The Most Important Person: I’m The Only Me! (Color, 1972)
“I’m the only me far as I can see” sings a rainbow of children in this animated short from the Most Important Person series. Originally broadcast as part of CBS’s Captain Kangaroo television program, these serial shorts were the School House Rock of self-esteem. Validation is the name of the game for these positively diverse youth.
Adolescence: Crisis or Opportunity (Color, 1973)
Doctor D.F. Muhich presents the teenage dilemma of uncertain identity: who am I becoming? Fuddled sixteen-year-old Torri St. Clair offers up some theories, but it’s her questionable mentor Al who might have some bigger ideas. Consulting the UC Berkeley psychology department, Norman Siegal directs this strange exposition on kids being heard and felt.
Clay, or The Origin of the Species (B&W, 1965)
The Academy Award-nominated stop-motion film from Eliot Noyes offers a kinetic take on Darwin’s revolutionary work. Backed by a swinging jazz tune, clay takes form as everything from primordial ooze to carnivorous creatures, devouring, dividing, and dancing to the rhythm. It’s survival of the fittest, and this crowd-pleaser stands up.
It may be true that “society is you and me,” but 7-year-old Jessica is fed up with it! Tired of being told what to do, this snotty second-grader wants something new--like being a “colleger; when you grow up and go to college.” Watch schoolchildren scream and pout in this bizarre tribute to being you and wanting it, too.
Twin Dukes and a Duchess (B&W, ca. 1920)
In this melodrama of the silent era, an evil twin vies for his brother’s wife-to-be in a plot of insanity, murder, and assumed identity. It’s glib narrator, however, turns the tale into comic buffoonery. Like a predecessor to the wisecracking call-outs of Mystery Science Theater 3000, farce replaces intrigue through off-screen antics.
Ego (Color, 1970)
In his stunning animated short, Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto unleashes from the subconscious of the domesticated man a psychedelic nightmare of chaos and desire. Beginning in conventional cartoon, the story descends into inferno through dazzling watercolor, optical printing, and pop imagery. Featuring music by Franco Godi, this gem is a must see!
Joe Garrity is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has studied film at NYU Tisch and La Universidad de Chile in Santiago. An aspiring writer and filmmaker, he has worked with the Pacific Film Archive, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and the Telluride Film Festival.