Indie Memphis Film Festival Daily Pick: Wednesday 

The Indie Memphis Film Festival continues today at Muvico’s Peabody Place theatre, and the best bet might be Reel Man, a documentary about industrial and educational film archivist Skip Eisheimer, which screens at 8:30 p.m., with an appearance and demonstration by Eisheimer.

Skip Eisheimer was a film geek who chanced into 500 educational filmstrips from the 1930s to 1970s. A collector was born and, thousands of strips later, cineastes everywhere can rejoice. Eisheimer formed A/V Geeks, a group based in Raleigh, North Carolina, that takes these almost-forgotten artifacts and publicly screens them. The reaction to these strips ranges from recognition to horror to delight. A Reel Man tells Eisheimer’s story and, better yet, shows clips of some his filmstrips. Eisheimer is a kind of archaeologist, digging through the dusty discards of libraries, schools, and government agencies and resurrecting the celluloid bones he discovers there. Some of the best of these strips — More Dates for Kay, Why Vandalism? — are educational to current-day audiences, illuminating some of the ideals and mores that kids in the mid-20th century were exposed to. It raises the question: How did those generations escape deep emotional scarring? One can only hope they laughed at these films like audiences do today. And laugh you will: There’s a clearly zonked Sonny Bono lecturing on teenage pot use. In Alcohol is Dynamite, there are lines such as, “Like dope addicts, one drinker can’t stand the sight of somebody not drinking.” There’s the titular, faux-Johnny Cash country song for Shake Hands with Danger. And there are Bizarro World home truths like “It’s not sissy to be clean.” In addition to the screening of the documentary, Eisheimer will appear at the festival and will show some of his films, making this a don’t-miss event on the program. — Greg Akers

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