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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.

Screening at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum / The Public Enemy

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The Public Enemy/Cineforum at 463 Bathurst Street Toronto.  Photo by Brian Chambers

DVDs are still available of The Last Pogo Jumps Again (please see Shop for info) but if you want to see it with a bunch of people, we’ve just arranged some screenings at Reg Hartt’s The Public Enemy/Cineforum.

Reg Hartt is an iconic transplanted Torontonian, originally from New Brunswick, who has been showing films in Toronto since 1968, when he began screening at Toronto’s infamous Rochdale College, in the second floor cafeteria.

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The Lonely Planet listed Cineforum as one of THE places to check out in Toronto.  Read what they had to say here.

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The cafeteria/screening room in Rochdale after it was closed down and cleaned out.

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An ashram at Rochdale.  Those be hippies.  They’re not staring at Iphones.

Originally called The Public Enemy, Reg’s venues have been usually better known as The Cineforum.

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Security at Rochdale College, 1968ish

When Colin Brunton completed the short concert film The Last Pogo in 1979, Reg was the first theatre owner who expressed any interest in screening it.  (Later, the nation-wide theatre chain Cineplex would run it, but pull it after a week after getting a “intense negative reaction.”) Reg paired The Last Pogo up with Suzanne Naughton’s short Mondo Punk and Bruce Pirrie’s Ziggy for a week-long run.  Suzanne and Bruce both contributed footage and photos to The Last Pogo Jumps Again.

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Reg hired a local artist to draw a poster, and instructed the artist to make sure the punk in the drawing had an erection.  He believed that this would attract girls.

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(Editor’s note:  after posting this, Reg got in touch with the R & D department at Pogo H.Q. and clarified what he meant;  see above.)

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Any Torontonian who’s spent time downtown has witnessed Reg riding his bike and putting up his posters.  Up until a number of years ago, there was an unwritten rule for posting:  you would never ever cover up any other current posters, and Reg was always careful to abide.  This etiquette was largely ignored and then ruined when ruthless professional poster “Jamie” got into the business a few years ago.

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Its only fitting that Reg should screen The Last Pogo Jumps Again, the epic (204 minute) sequel/prequel to the short at his current location at 463 Bathurst Street (call 416-603-6643 for info.)

The film will screen there 7pm nightly starting on Saturday January 3 and running all through January.  Maybe February as well.  We’ll keep you posted.  As always, its a “pay what you can”, with a suggested fee of $9.99 (a hat-tip to Gary Topp’s Original 99 Cent Roxy.)

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Finally, Reg has asked that we suggest cooking up a recipe from the famous Alice B. Toklas literary memoir/cookbook in order to enhance the experience.

If you never seen a film at any of Reg’s theatres, this is a “bucket list” experience unique to Toronto.  The “theatre” is the front parlour of Reg’s house, and you’re encouraged to bring your own food and drink.  It seats seventeen people.  The sound quality is great.  You can smoke out the back, and there will be an intermission (the film runs 204 minutes.)  It should be an unforgettable experience.

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