Weird, wacky and preachy vintage educational films, cartoons and Afterschool Specials about smoking.
Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present Learn Your Lesson...About Smoking: Puff Puff Pass the Shockucation, the seventh in a series of programs highlighting the most ridiculous, insane and camptastic shockucational films and TV specials of the collection. This month, we are taking on smoking, from tobacco, to marijuana, to banana skins with a triple helping of preachy cartoons! Master of the educational shock film, Sid Davis brings us the hilarious tale of a young "weedhead" in Keep Off the Grass (1970). Behold the wild go-go frenzy of the psychedelically animated The Drag (1965). This dog's bark is worse than his bite, especially after all the joints he's been smoking with the cops in the freshly unearthed Canadian cartoon Caninabis: The Junky Dog (1979). Sonny Bono - in a pair of gold lamé pajamas and sporting droopy, blood-shot eyes - tells us about the "unpleasant bummer" of pot in an excerpt from Marijuana (1968). John Korty's animated beatniks help us in Breaking the Habit (1964), if you can dig it, man. Forget the garlic, one woman's chain smoking is enough to keep Dracula away in Ashes of Doom (1970). And since he has been away too long, we are bringing back the King of the Afterschool Special, Scott Baio in the hilarious and minimally convincing Stoned (1980). Plus! Vintage Cigarette Commercials, more snippets and surprises, and the Di$ney reenacted bummer Smokeless Tobacco: The Sean Marsee Story (1986) for the early birds. Isn't it time about time you learned your lesson?
Date: Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Keep Off The Grass (Color, 1970)
Tom's mother discovers a marijuana joint in his room. When his parents confront him, Tom denies being a "dope fiend." He goes down to where the local "weedheads" hang out (a hilarious headshop), is mugged by a desperate band of marijuana addicts, and finally realizes how right his parents were: "keep off the grass!" From the master of the shockucational film, Sid Davis.
The Drag (Color, 1965)
Produced for the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare this jaw-dropping film montage depicts the difficulty of breaking the tobacco habit in a child-adulthood go-go frenzy of wild animation by Italian animator Carlos Marchiori. The story depicts the case history of a chain smoker-satirically told on a psychiatrist's couch, with the patient's recollections--illustrating the psychology of the smoking habit and the part that cigarette advertising plays in the addiction. With hopping music and brilliant kaleidoscopic montages.
Caninabis - The Junky Dog (Color, 1979)
Yes, you read that right: CANINABIS! This newly discovered head-scratcher from the National Film Board of Canada chronicles the animated exploits of a scruffy street dog, who develops a taste (and smell) for that sticky icky icky, but uses his powers to help the police, where he is rewarded with huge joints for every drug bust. But when the weed starts playing tricks on his mind, the scruffy mutt drops the ball and ends up on the street again, chasing tailpipes for one more high!
Long before the advent of the e-cigarette, the tobacco filled sticks for cool kids and moms alike graced the TV screen in numerous incarnations.
Marijuana (Color, 1968, excerpt)
Sonny Bono graces the silver screen in gold lamé to set the facts straight about grass; that he appears utterly stoned himself should not denigrate his message one bit. He systematically counters all the usual arguments in favor of the evil weed (hilariously rattled off one by one by a group of teenagers being arrested).
Words of wisdom in stoner monotone: “Unlike alcohol, when you take too much at one time, you don’t pass out. You more than likely run the risk of an unpredictable – and unpleasant – bummer”.
Breaking The Habit (1964, Color)
Directed by John Korty and produced by Henry Jacobs, this short anti-smoking film was nominated for an Oscar and features deadpan dialogue with a minimalist animation style. In 1964, Korty opened a studio in Stinson Beach and made three feature films before focusing mainly on documentary filmmaking. In 1977 Korty won the Oscar (documentary) for Who Are the Debolts and Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?, and his 1984 cult animated feature film Twice Upon A Time, produced by George Lucas, has recently seen a revival of interest. Note: Breaking the Habit is currently being restored by the Academy Film Archive.
Ashes of Doom (Color, 1970)
In this campy and dramatic short, a woman, wracked with nerves, calms herself by chain smoking. Finally, the moment she has been dreading arrives! It’s Dracula and he’s ready to embrace her and suck her blood! He goes in for the bite and comes back up with a surprised look on his face! What is the problem Dracula?! Also from the NFB and frequent Norman McLaren collaborator Grant Munro.
Stoned (Color, 1980)
ABC After School Special (ASS) starring that loveable rascal Scott Baio. Here he is lured into stonersville by a skateboard-riding dope dealer. The munchies and problems at school ensue, climaxing with the near death of his older brother when the stoned Biao clobbers him with a boat paddle.
Lesson learned, nuff said.
For the Early Birds:
Smokeless Tobacco: The Sean Marsee Story (Color, 1986)
When good-looking all-star teen athlete Sean Marsee died of jaw cancer from smokeless tobacco in 1984, W@lt Di$ney studios jumped at the chance to recreate this cautionary tale for a generation of youngsters to learn that even chaw can kill you!
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.
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.