The Broken Rule


Dir. Ericka Beckman, 16mm (originally super 8) Color Sound 00:19:00

Page Contents


“THE BROKEN RULE is my reaction to the American education system, where learning blocks must be acquired by the group before any individual can progress to the next level. My film pictures learning blocks as relay races conducted by male players, where the girls are scores, and the goal is to enter the working world by the end of the game. Mike Kelley, the lead player in my film, makes a ritual out of his mistakes to escape the consequences of his mistakes.
In this film, one person’s work is another person’s play, and play creates competition, a component of work.”
E.B. 1979

“Utilizing television-commercial stereotypes of woman as either laundresses or cheerleaders and of men as engaged either in sports or commerce (or both) Beckman creates an ideological satire on sexism and American capitalism. Riveting in its choreography of space and rhythm THE BROKEN RULE is a sort of Marxist musical. Oddly suggestive of Tashlin, the film is constructed with the precision of an animated work, and wit the formal humor of a Landow.”

[Source: Bruce Jenkins, "New Film/ New York", Media Study Magazine, 1980]

Other Credits

Cast: Mike Kelley