Psychology & Social Guidance Films playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_hX5wLdhf_KKDUI3dzMqPn1uZRXt_8dp
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'"Here we are at a nice, friendly party. Watch carefully everything the people at this party do and say, then ask yourself, 'would I rate them plus or minus as friends?' Ready? Here we go!"
Unusual for its quality and Hollywood-type production values, which can in part be attributed to the skill of cinematographer Don Malkames, this film is also notable as an early "interactive" film. Like the other Art of Living titles and like many films that were to follow in its path, including Centron's Discussion Problems in Group Living series, this film pauses momentarily at key points and poses questions to the audience.
You and Your Friends follows a do's and don'ts, "Goofus and Gallant," right path/wrong path strategy — but with one big difference from other films — here no one is judged right or wrong. "None of these youngsters will do the right thing or the wrong every time. It'll be up to you to decide." However, it would take a pretty dumb kid to miss the point. Such a strategy is common to many films designed to influence and/or control behavior. It tends to downplay the seriousness of the conditioning by pretending to present a variety of views, and coasts on the entertainment value and release provided by showing obviously poor behavior. This is also a familiar strategy going back centuries, in this culture probably influenced by the Bible; it's easily understood. Nonetheless, its efficacy can always be questioned; I suspect most readers of Highlights for Children over the years have been fascinated by the transgressive Goofus rather than the tediously boring Gallant. And when antique educational films are publicly revived today, audiences universally identify with the bad child.
Within the history of educational media, You and Your Friends comes off as quite modern. Like today's discussion-oriented "values clarification" videos, the movie takes place completely within an adolescent world. Both good and bad behavior is shown, and audiences are asked to discuss it. Kids are shown at a party running the show without adult supervision. Although adult authority is represented by the movie's narrator and the title cards, no one really lays out exactly what to think, unlike so many other social guidance films of the time obsessed with listing a "few simple rules."
The focus on self-directed behavior rather than following rules handed down from higher authority is a key indicator of the formation of an autonomous youth culture (for more on this, see the Shy Guy program notes).
This early social guidance film was part of the Art of Living series sponsored by Look magazine and distributed by Association Films, the motion-picture distribution arm of the YMCA/YWCA. Association Films was itself an offshoot of Association Press, who published numerous books relating to adolescent guidance, including Evelyn M. Duvall's influential guide Facts of Life and Love (1950). Other Art of Living titles included You and Your Attitudes (1948) and You and Your Family (1946).
Three young 1950s couples dancing in living room of house; tracking shot of young couple walking into dining room; young man wearing 1940s to 1950s style suit badmouths a boy named Eddy, couple grabs food from table and open bottles of soda, young woman defends Eddy who the young man badmouths then walks out, text superimposed on shot "Is loyalty one test of friendship?"...'
Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.
Originally a public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
Look was a bi-weekly, general-interest magazine published in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1937 to 1971, with more of an emphasis on photographs than articles. A large-size magazine of 11 by 14 inches, it was generally considered the also-ran to Life magazine, which began publication months earlier and ended in 1972.
It is known for helping launch the career of film director Stanley Kubrick, who was a staff photographer...