A young boy attempts to get a silver medal in the most daunting of middle school challenges, the flexed arm hang.
The Flexed Arm Hang is the short simple tale of Ano, an outcast in a Canadian middle school in 1978, as he always dreams of being as popular as Gus, the school’s star athlete. One day, he faces the daunting task of performing The Flexed Arm Hang in front of the whole class, as if he succeeds in this challenge then everyone will rejoice in his bravery, but if he fails, he falls right back down to being practically invisible.
The short is a very charming watch, as it portrays these small time, low stake events during school, as these death defying, leaps of faith where everything is on the line. Obviously they aren’t, but when you’re in school in those situations they seem that way, and the short really wins you over by reminding you of the small moments of success and failure in school and how important they actually were.
I was very delighted and charmed by The Flexed Arm Hang as a nostalgic look back on middle school, popularity and friendship that feels strangely fresh for such a saturated sub-genre.
Angus Luff grew up loving movies ever since he first saw Jurassic Park at the age of five. Since then he’s immersed himself in classic and cult cinema, and picked up film as a possible career path. He lives in the Glebe, attends Glebe Collegiate, and continues to expand his cinematic palette.