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pogo2posterFINAL2The Last Pogo Jumps Again studies the evolution of Toronto from small town to big city and it’s pop/counter-culture lifestyle during the early and mid-70s.  It centers around the first wave of Toronto punk rock and new-wave music, from the Ramones playing the New Yorker Theatre in ’76 through the police shutting down Teenage Head and causing a riot at the Horseshoe Tavern’s infamous “The Last Pogo” concert in December 1978.

London had the Sex Pistols, New York had the Ramones, but Toronto had a punk movement all it’s own.  The Toronto landscape by the late ’70s was forever changed with the infusion of the DIY/Punk/Alternative Culture(s) movement.  Six years in the making, The Last Pogo Jumps Again successfully explores the whys and wherefores of what was arguably one of the most exciting but misunderstood movements in Toronto’s history.

The DVD contains the 204 minute documentary, plus over a 100 minutes of added material, and a snazzy 24-page booklet.  Check the Shop for details on where you can purchase it.

The Last Pogo (1978) is the documentary that chronicled the last punk rock show at the Horseshoe Tavern when it was run by legendary Toronto promoters The Garys (Topp and Cormier) featuring The Scenics, Cardboard Brains, The Secrets, The Mods, The Ugly, The Viletones and Teenage Head. The Last Pogo was released on DVD in 2008 to great reviews.  Available at the Shop.

Digital Versatile Disc and Vimeo coming soon.

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After starting our project in 2006, and after having a dozen theatrical screenings in Toronto and a couple of festivals, we’re just about ready to release our DVD and get it up on Vimeo for rental and purchase.

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The DVD will come with a 24 page colour booklet of handbills and photos, and an hour and a half of special features, including extended interviews, unused segments (Tommy Ramone, Danny Fields),  special features on The Original 99 Cent Roxy Theatre and Nash the Slash, and trailers for movies like Night of the Living Dead, Dementia 13 and Reefer Madness.  For Canadian film buffs out there, there’s also a scene from the feature film Neon Palace, one of the very first films to be backed by what is now called Telefilm.  Films had a big influence on the punk scene in Toronto, so we’re tipping our hat.

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To say that making this project has been a trip, well, we don’t have the words.  The saying “it’s about the journey, not the destination” seems more than fitting.  This whole thing started as a bit of a lark — Colin Brunton wanted to hang out with his then 13 year old son Ollie for the summer and catch up on some old pals — but once he hooked up with filmmaker Kire Paputts, it took on a whole new life.

After a couple of years of doing interviews and gathering photos and footage, it became less of a project and more like a lifestyle that bordered on obsession.  Many times over the years we would think we were done, but then we’d find out about another piece of rare footage, or we’d finally find that elusive interview we were after, and it just kept going.  And going.  And going.

In 2011, we finally thought we were done for good.  We had a version that was over five hours long, and as badass as that would’ve been, we thought better of it, and trimmed it down to three hours and twenty minutes.  Editing took forever, but Kire was tireless.

Friends who knew we were doing this would at first offer their support and encouragement, but after being at it for four years, they began to suspect that this was all a big joke.  “Uh, you ARE making a film, right?” they’d ask.  And when we finally proved to them we were, the next question was always “Are you fucking kidding?  Three and a half hours long?”

On hearing about the length, people would instantly summon up grade three math and inform us that, “Hey, you could make four one hours, or 13 half hours, or don’t you think you should cut a shorter version?”  But what to cut out?

We knew it wasn’t a marketable length, and we discovered it wasn’t even close to marketable content, and were proven correct when no broadcasters were interested in buying it.  “Oh, Colin,” the exec at Bravo said, “Ha, ha, ha.  We think people are still scared of that.”  This was in the first couple of years, when we were thinking it might be a typical two hours or so.  And here we had the so-called “arts channel” in Canada actually laughing at us.  The arts channel.  It didn’t seem worth the effort of a phone call to try and hit up the History Channel, because even though that’s what the project was all about (it’s as much about the history of the seventies in Toronto as it is the music) we knew their tastes leaned more towards insightful historical TV shows like Biker Battleground Phoenix and something called Counting Cars.  (Counting?  Cars?  Yes, I like both of those things!  I like to count, and I drive a car! Lets watch it!)

So fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.  We made a kickass film, and we nailed it.  You’ll learn a lot about Toronto, and you’ll get turned on to a lot of great music.

We have a huge list of thank yous in the movie, but for one last time, we need to thank our lawyer, Arson and Mods drummer David “Quinton” Steinberg for guiding us through the nightmare of release forms and permission, and of course Gary Topp, without whom Toronto wouldn’t be the same.

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