Friday, April 30, 2010

F*cked Up Movie

The filmstrip. Remember those? In school they'd wheel in the big projector and shut off the lights and you'd watch some sort of educational film about washing your hands or what to if there's a fire or why we shouldn't throw rocks at people's heads or whatever. Filmstrips were there to kill time when we couldn't go out for recess on a rainy day, or maybe because the teacher had grading to do, or whatever on earth grownups did in the old days. Who knows? It was all very mysterious.

For some reason last night, I suddenly remembered this filmstrip they showed us about this kid named Cliff who died because everyone was mean to him. We watched it several times in 6th grade, usually in reaction to someone being driven to tears by everyone else being mean to her. Fortunately for me, the Internet allows us to piece together entire chunks of information from shreds of things you aren't sure if you remember.

It's not the first time I've remembered this movie out of the blue-- I'm pretty sure I wrote a poem about it in college. The movie also contained some version of the rhesus monkey experiment, and showed baby monkeys dying from lack of love. Or lack of food after they played that dirty trick with the wire mother and the flannel mother.

So in this movie, everyone on the bus is being mean to Cliff. Then he steps off the bus and keels over dead for no apparent reason. Then it turns out the reason he died was from loneliness and because everyone is mean to him. There are flashbacks with the kids making fun of him, or teachers that don't pay attention, and his mean stepfather telling him he's an idiot all the time. And then he just dies.

I couldn't find the whole movie, but here's a trailer. As it turns out, it's a cautionary tale courtesy of the LDS.

I know I usually try to be more eloquent, but that's some fucked up shit.


Nomad said...

They certainly knew how to sell that idea! Wow. At the end of the day, you remembered it so that is one good thing to say for the film.

Stranger said...

It's kind of hard to forget!

If they're still making these kinds of movies, Cliff wouldn't die-- he would sneak his dad's automatic rifle to school and blow away the mean kids.

Nomad said...

I started to write about an incident (somewhat) related to this post but all the information became so unwieldy that it became its own post!

Then when I went back to the original post, it was gone and I worried for my sanity-something that has become a daily routine lately.

Stranger said...

I'm pretty much the same, Nomad. Ever since I had the baby there are large gaps in my memory, like places I've been to and don't remember...

I hope the incident didn't involve some sad kid dropping dead because everyone was mean to him.

shu said...

It's interesting you posted about this film now, as I was just thinking about it a few days ago myself -- even though I haven't watched it in at least 30 years. I even remembered the name of the film before watching your clip.

Those crazy Mormons sure can implant an idea.

But why in god's name has my brain gone to the trouble of storing that information for the past three decades rather than using that space for something useful?

Stranger said...

I wonder the same, shu. There are a lot of my 20s I wish I remember instead of that movie.