An adolescent boy kills his younger self to become an adult in a suit but finds it hard to keep his inner clown deflated among his peers.
I suppose at my age it might seem embarrassing to put up a movie shot in high school and dealing with typical adolescent issues but I actually like this one a lot. It was about the 4th film I'd ever made and easily 3 times as long as the others. Scott Kim, who owned the camera, did the shooting and I played all the masked characters.
After losing contact with nature (the split tree perched on the edge of a cliff at the beginning), the protagonist separates from his younger self. A masked man in a trench coat at a swamp gives the boy a childish play ball and commands him to toss it into the sea. This act gives the plastic ball enormous weight. The human consequence is that the younger boy appears stabbed in his navel. The masked character now transforms into a woman and the two have a blood communion with umbilical straws. Then a present is given the boy of an inflatable clown and a brief case to keep it closed up in. Though he walks forward obediently, various items spill out awkwardly from his pants legs. The masked character pulls off his rubber face to reveal a stiff blue menacing one beneath it.
His mother hangs the clown up to dry along with the boy's underwear. She takes his temperature (the thermometer appears to be boiling) and blames fate (the single dice). We see through an obvious image that the boys' big problem is sexual frustration.
The boy, in a dried up lake, places a sea shell into a plastic egg shell and floats it like an offering in a verdant stream. Another masked character seems to be cleaning a bat kite with a car washing sponge (which will appear later). The boy snaps a photo of this kite and places it in the case along with the deflated clown.
Throughout this film, items from the scene of the crime of killing his younger self reappear. Things like sea shells, fish, the color blue, proliferate (particularly in the next high school scene).
After a girl's eyes strike the page of a "Book of Matches" it bursts into flames and the girl flees. The long "Headison High" sequence that follows shows that the various students haven't lost contact with their younger selves. Little kids play freely in the background along with the teens. I had a dream about a high school that became a kind of market place where buying and selling replaced studying. Of course other things happen there too, fights and sexual affairs that are hidden in plain sight. Scott Kim got to play the deranged student who goes crazy (but with a whip instead of a gun). Time is left behind (the pile of watches) and the school assumes a haunted quality.
The lead character with his brief case finally appears in the deserted high school campus, mesmerized by a hovering kite in a courtyard. The kite becomes bait for a trap as a couple of pre-teen boys throw a fishing net over him and break up the kite with boxing gloves. As the kite punctures, the net and kids vanish. On the paper we see fish and other sea creatures, another reference to killing with the kids as vengeful emissaries of the dead child. The kite is a symbol of freedom, but it is only free when anchored securely, otherwise it falls.
Next our protagonist is beat up on by a gang of toughs all in pixelation (to emphasize the artificial staged quality of the fighting - a product of the lead's paranoia). The toughs appear to be after the boys brief case. The boy then handcuffs himself to the briefcase and strolls by a "choask" which denotes various extracurricular social activities.
As if from a storeroom somewhere, a masked worker brings in a blonde beauty on a hand truck. "Miss Conduct" approaches the aroused boy but extends a sponge (seen earlier cleaning the bat kite) . The boy squeezes the sponge and hair falls from it and is stuck to his hand. This is a reference to the old wives' tale that if you masturbate, hair will grow on your hand. The girl is sadly repulsed and walks away. The boy attempts to follow but the briefcase becomes a heavy burden.
He returns to the ocean, dragging the briefcase behind him and in an echo of throwing the child's ball off the cliff at the beginning, the boy lifts the heavy briefcase. But in this instance it would be a suicide because he's handcuffed to it. Suddenly young hands stop the boy and it's clear that the younger self has returned. With no effort at all the youth breaks off the handcuffs and the two throw the briefcase into the waves. The clown, for the first time, is inflated. The hands rejoin but in reverse direction, the older boy is now on the right. The blue mask is sinking in a swamp and the bat kite is now aloft, anchored by the "tree of life" earlier rejected.