When I was young in Amery, Wisconsin, the appearance of a 16mm projector during class brightened the school day considerably; we were going to watch an educational film. Some of the prints were obviously related to the content of a class; “Hemo the Magnificent” for instance, a movie about the circulatory system shown in biology class. Sociologist Dr. Robert Gobbler's 1972 educational film presenting his unorthodox birth order study. But occasionally strange films were shown, often bearing titles extended by colons: “Learning to Live: Acquiring Life Scripts,” “Communication: The Sender,” and “Fairness for Beginners: The Fairness Game.” In these movies, sincere bearded sociologists perched without irony on cubes upholstered in shag carpeting, interviewing middle-aged men about the buried and native sensitivities their youth. We first sas black and white photographs of these men in the late 1950’s wearing heavy, black-rimmed, ‘dad’ glasses, burdened with that era’s social expectations. Then, in sudden dramatic contrast, they are shown running naked together on a beach in Northern California with shaggy hair and mutton-chop sideburns in fully saturated Kodachrome color. When I see these films now, they feel like vivid time capsule documentaries of an era and its social trends. In a sense, they are a mid-twentieth century folk art.
In "The Birth Order Experiment" I parody and pay tribute to this film genre that I love. Dr. Robert Gobbler presents his unorthodox birth order study from 1972.
A richly luxe faux-doco looking into the results of a highly unusual thesis – a choice new work from a member of MIAF royalty. Melbourne Int'l Animation Festival