Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Facts for Boys (Color, 1981)
“Changing from a boy to a man is a one way trip. I’m Ken Howard and I’ve been through it all and I’d like to share the experience with you.” Actor Ken Howard, in the middle of his stint as the White Shadow, decided to take three young boys, Li’l Billy Warner, Shane Hankins and Kade Lyons on an unsupervised camping trip to shoot the shit about wet dreams and unwanted pregnancies over wiener roasting and s’mores. With a dynamite soundtrack that includes hits by Rod Stewart, Blondie, The Eagles and Willie Nelson.
The Hero Who Couldn't Read (Color, 1984)
An ABC Afterschool EXTRA Special (shown before at Oddball only in excerpts) and howlingly funny dramatization of one teen basketball superstar's struggle with literacy. While illiteracy may be no laughing matter; the overacting, the heavy-handed inspirational speeches, the fake tears, the bleach in a little boy's eyes, it will all bring you to tears... of laughter. Featuring Clarence Williams III as the only teacher that cares enough to get him back on the right path and Kareem Abdul Jabar, playing himself and reading his cue cards like a champ!
It’s Alright To Cry from Free To Be...You And Me (Color, 1974)
Rosey Grier was an NFL star turned Renaissance Man, presidential bodyguard, singer, actor, needlepoint enthusiast, and Christian Minister. In this comforting ballad, “The Gentle Giant” teaches girls and boys alike that a little tearfest never hurt anyone, and even one of the Fearsome Foursome can be “sad and grumpy, down in the dumpy.”
About Free To Be You...And MeFinding a dirth of positive, modern-thinking children’s literature and programming, Marlo Thomas (That Girl) set out to gather some of the biggest names at the time to teach the new generation of children about race and gender equality, caring, sharing, overcoming stereotypes, self-sufficiency, the validity of boys owning dolls, and the brotherhood of man. First a record, then a book, and in 1974, Free To Be You And Me became an Emmy-Winning television broadcast. With singing, dancing, cartoons and puppets! The magic of Free To Be You and Me was its effortless way of making heavy ideas of feminism, consumerism and understanding palatable and entertaining for children and adult-children alike.
This unintentionally humorous film depicts high school kid Phil Norton (Dick York) as a transfer student to a new town where he has no friends. He is a true geek, who spends all his time in the basement building a radio. His father offers him advice on fitting in. Phil then studies the popular kids in school. He sees that they are good listeners and are always polite and helpful. At an afterschool mixer, Phil offers to help Beezy Barnes (a fellow radio geek), and all the kids immediately become interested in Phil.
Narrated by film noir legend Richard Widmark, this educational film makes juvenile delinquency seem positively benign compared to today’s problem youth. Some great campy moments.
Just Awful (Color, 1972, 8 min)
Oh no! James cut his finger on the playground and he feels: “Just Awful!” Now he has to go see the nurse, which makes him feel even worse. It’s his first time there, so we watch him take it all in, see how other kids react, and then follow him through a triumphant bandaging, returning to class like the champ he is. Seriously, a very weird film even by educational film standards.
For the Early Birds:
Who's Different (1986)
Teens playing water polo. Classroom with high school students. Bully picking on school nerd. Jock won’t get help in geometry from the nerd, and will get kicked off team if he doesn’t improve his grades. At school dance they have confrontation. Water polo coach, an African American male, pulls the athlete aside and talks to him about difference and race. Same jock works on car and learns more about being different and ends up getting math help from nerd and learns to be more accepting.