Learn Your Lesson...from the Mormons: An LDS Shockucation - Fri. Dec. 12th - 8PM

Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present Learn Your Lesson...from the Mormons: An LDS Shockucation, the 22nd in a monthly series of programs highlighting the most ridiculous, insane and camptastic educational films, mental hygiene primers and TV specials of the collection. This month we are tapping into the ultra-schmaltzy mental-hygiene shorts of Brigham Young University.  While rarely using the church as a character or setting, these wholesome shorts sought to instill the church's teachings of family values, abstaining, avoiding peer pressure, and the value of hard work through the cheesiest of cheesy narratives. The most famous of these shorts, The Cipher in the Snow (1974) tells the heartbreaking story of a little boy that nobody noticed, until he suddenly collapses dead in the snow.  One boy has to learn to listen to his mother and stand up to the fast-riding, beer-guzzling cool kids in the howlingly funny Measure of a Man (1962).  Are You Listening? (1973) will teach you how to "listen with your heart" as one family struggles to really hear each other and the people in their lives. The Phone Call (1977) wants you to know that even geeky, karate and bassoon-loving fast food workers deserve love, and with a little self-confidence and a great ginger-fro, they just might get it. Plus Man's Search for Happiness (1964), the film made for the Mormon Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, an excerpt from Meet the Mormons (1973), and even more surprises. 

Date: Friday, December 11th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com 

Highlights Include:

Cipher in the Snow (Color, 1974)
This messagifying bummer centers on Cliff, a young boy who no one notices, no one cares about and no one even knows is alive; that is, until he stumbles off the school bus and collapses dead into the snow.  His math teacher, who barely noticed the kid himself, is tasked with writing an obituary and uncovering why a young boy could go unnoticed so long he wasted away to nothing, a zero, a cipher in the snow.  Based on an award-winning short story by Jean Mizer.

Measure of a Man (Color, 1962)
Nobody does a drinking and driving scare film quite like the Mormons!  Mike Miller is a good boy with a thoughtful and anxious mother who is none too pleased that he's going out driving with bad boys Hal and Blaine.  They love "wild" girls, fast cars and drinking beer; and everywhere they go, crazy New Orleans jazz underscores their every move.  Will Mike be able to hold his own with their wild ways, even turn them around to his square way of thinking or will he be pressured into drinking and necking the night away? The interior monologues will leave you speechless with gems like "I wonder how come mothers know so much" and "I don't know much about wild girls... might be educational, though."  Directed by Mormon-educational film pioneer Wetzel Whitaker, who worked as an animator for Di$ney for 20 years before becoming the director of the BYU Motion Picture Studio.

The Phone Call (Color, 1977)
30 years before Napoleon Dynamite, this BYU-sponsored "comedy" follows an awkward teenage boy with Art Garfunkle's hairstylist and a penchant for karate and bassoons as he works up the courage to ask his crush for a date.  The Mormons want you to know that nice guys can finish first! An audience favorite at LYL about Dating. Starring Marc McClure (Jimmy Olson from the Christopher Reeves Superman series).

Man's Search for Happiness (Color, 1964)
Do you ever wonder "Who I am?" "Where did I come from?" or "Where am I going?" Well, make a stop at the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair and learn the LDS path towards happiness. And make sure you get to greet your dead loved ones in Heaven in a bathrobe!

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder.  She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 100 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.