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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.

Suzanne Naughton’s An Afternoon at New Rose

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Filmmaker Suzanne Naughton let us use footage from her short film An Afternoon at New Rose for our movie The Last Pogo Jumps Again.  New Rose was the clothing/record store/hangout that fashion designer Margarita Passion started in 1977, when Margarita was the girlfriend of Viletone/Secrets’ Freddy Pompeii.  The pic above is a screen shot of Suzanne with then-boyfriend Bruce Pirrie.

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The idea for the store came about after a late-night brain-storming session with Margarita, Nora Currie, a few drinks and some diet pills.

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Screen shot Margarita Passion and Freddy Pompeii.

Suzanne used to hang out there on weekends, and asked Freddy and Margarita if it would be okay to do some shooting and they said “sure.”  This was in January 1978, while Suzanne was a film student at Ryerson in Toronto.

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Screen shot Freddy Pompeii.

“Freider Hochheim (of Kinoflo fame) shot most of it with an Arri and we did wild sound which I matched later in editing,” said Suzanne.  “I shot 800 feet & the film is 810 feet (400 feet purchased, 400 ft “borrowed”). By “borrowed” we’re pretty sure she means “stole it from the Ryerson batch of raw stock.  When The Last Pogo was shot in 1978, they too had to “borrow” film stock, this time from Sheridan College.

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Viletones’ Steven Leckie with photographer Gail Bryck.

I wasn’t allowed to show it at some film festival because it didn’t have titles or credits, so I scratched the name into the leader. I didn’t cut the neg (lost long ago). The film is a slash print of the edited work print with optical sound.”

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Screen shot Dave “Tank” Roberts opens a stubby with his teeth.

The final film was included in a “punk” package that did a small tour in the U.S. but it was deemed too radical for any television sales.

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Originally, An Afternoon at New Rose was meant to be supplemental footage for another film by Suzanne, the experimental Mondo Punk.  Mondo Punk played with The Last Pogo and Bruce Pirrie’s hilarious short film Ziggy at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum, when it was based on Mercer Street.  Bruce was nice enough to let us use some footage from Ziggy as well.  Trivia:  if you look at the handbill above, Reg asked the artist to make sure the punk in the handbill had a big erection.  This would, he assured the filmmakers, help attract women to the screenings.  Reg’s Cineforum is now on Bathurst Street in Toronto where he continues to screen prints from his film collection, fights city hall for the the right to run his theatre, and gives lectures on subjects like “What I Learned From LSD.”

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Screen shot “Susie” smokes a butt and glares at Suzanne’s camera.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, ” said Suzanne, talking about the An Afternoon at New Rose shoot, “but was prepared to make it into its own film if things went well.”  And it did.

The Last Pogo Jumps Again opens theatrically at The Big Picture Cinema at 1035 Gerrard Street East in Toronto on Friday November 1, and runs to Wednesday November 6.  There’s a 3:30 matinee on Sunday November 3, and another matinee on Thursday November 7 at 3:30.  All tix are $10.00;  the Thursday matinee is $5.00.

 

 

 

 

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