Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade was a surprise cinematic triumph because it shone a unique light on a uniquely insufferable period of life: middle school. In film, adolescence is a challenging beat to hit without being kitschy. That’s because authentic teen drama often requires a depiction of things that the MPAA typically deems unfit for consumption by, you know, actual adolescents? Now the movie studio A24 is looking to change that by hosting 100 screenings of Eighth Grade in middle schools across America.
Schools from all across the country can apply for a screening online. All they need to do is submit a lesson plan or curriculum associated with the film to be in the running. All screenings will be held during the week of October 22, 2018.
This is a follow up to the studio’s previous effort to hold one-day screenings of the film, free of cost. It’s worth mentioning because while Eighth Grade remains a highly relevant film, it’s R-rating kept teenagers —the ones who would benefit most from seeing the film— out of theaters. A24’s earlier free screenings of the film specifically didn’t enforce the movie’s R-rating. It’s not that Eighth Grade was by any stretch a raunchy or inappropriate film really. The R-rating is almost entirely due to the presence of one too many fucks.
Even if your kid doesn’t get a chance to watch Eighth Grade as part of a screening at school, the film is so vital that you should look into making time for it anyway. As Burnham explained, most films about teens, “speak with an ability that is suspiciously similar to a screenwriter’s ability to speak.” Eighth Grade, to the contrary, renders the trials and tribulations of middle school as relatable events be they bumbling, triumphant, or outright sad.