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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.

“Its all killer, no filler.”

Poster by artist Rick Trembles

Even with our very limited exposure to date (two cast ‘n’ crew screenings;  World Premiere at Canadian Music Week), we’ve done well with reviewers.

In Mechanical Forest Sound, blogger Joe said:  “A true labour of love, this film is a worthy testament to a brief spurt of under-documented and under-appreciated history.” 

Sarah Gopaul, posting in Digital Journel:  ” More than just a chronicle of the city’s culture, it’s also a historic overview of Toronto’s venues.” 

Less Lee Moore of Popshifter had our favourite comment, hands down.  Reflecting on the unusual length (3 hrs, 20 minutes): “It’s all killer, no filler.”  And this:  “…is going to come as an unexpected and delightful shock to the system, especially if you’re not Canadian.”  And then this:  “It’s infinitely quotable and thought provoking as well as frequently hilarious and distressing.”

Geoff Pevere, writing for the Globe & Mail wrote a terrific overview of the film and the scene, but the venerable Globe has gone all paywall on us, so no link for that one.  But Geoff also has his own blog, and wrote in his Directory of Intemperate Enthusiasms: “(The Last Pogo Jumps Again) is something of a major find:  not only does it restore this period and its players to something like rightful status in civic history, it reiterates just how explosive the movement was and how fucked it is that its been forgotten.”

Don Pyle summed it up with this on Trouble in the Camera Club:  “…enthralling and brilliant, hilarious and sad.”

And the final words go to Greg Klymkiw, who lost his shit, gave it four stars, and wrote a review worthy of Lester Bangs while suffering the effects of four days of nicotine withdrawal.  Here’s some of the stuff he writes in his review on his popular blog Canadian Film Corner:  “…alternately thrilling and depressing but ultimately powerful.”  And this:  “Blending new and archival interviews and footage with all the onstage and behind the scenes players, the movie tells a tale as inspiring as it is sad – but what keeps the whole thing buoyant is the mad genius on view in both the words and performances of the likes of D.O.A. (sic), The Viletones, Teenage Head and all the rest of this Scene of gloriously talented purveyors of fuck-you-and-the-horse-you-fucking-rode-in-on. Some of those interviewed keep playing, others have morphed their love of music into other areas of the music business while some have chosen to grow up and get real jobs – and it’s a testament to the obsessive qualities of the filmmaking itself that it’s simply impossible to NOT like anyone in the picture.”  And then this:  “Some of the interview highlights for me were poignant moments with the late Frankie Venom of Teenage Head, the brilliant, erudite Andy Paterson of The Government and without question, the vitriol-and-venom spewing Steve Leckie from the Viletones – a poet, an artist, a gentleman curmudgeon of the highest order.”

(Hey, we would’ve added some pics, but The World Wide Information Superhighway wasn’t being nice to us...)

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