Monday, March 7, 2016

John Porter at Early Monthly Segments

For tonight's seventh year anniversary of Early Monthly Segments its programmers are organizing a special series of projection of the short-films by the local director-photographer-experimental film enthusiast John Porter, in conjunction with the release of his new book, John Porter’s CineScenes: Documentary Portraits of Alternative Film Scenes, Toronto and Beyond, 1978-2015. The screening is tonight Monday, March 7th at 8PM at the Gladstone Hotel.
But probably the most anticipated film in the program is the 1992 The Secret of the Lost Tunnel (or Woody Allen: A Space Odyssey), which is described on Porter's website as,
"A Camera Dance, using time-lapse/pixilation. John performs for the camera in a rare "narrative" film, edited in-camera. Playing a naked Hardy Boy carrying a lantern in the dark, he discovers a mysterious, long, pink tunnel. Struggling to squeeze all the way through, faster and faster, he passes advertisements on the walls along the way, and at the end he emerges into a scene from Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). John constructed the tunnel "set" in his apartment, changed shooting speeds to change his apparent crawling speeds, and recorded his grunts onto the sound film afterward. Inspired by a scene in Woody Allen's movie Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask (1972). The title, and title page in the film, is borrowed from a Hardy Boys book."
A regular dilemma for Canadian directors: How to make a cinema in the shadow of Kubrick or The Force Awakens? Film a projection of 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Secret of the Lost Tunnel), put Kubrick in your film (Operation Avalanche), document the public event which is the opening night screening of the The Force Awakens (Nirvana: The Band Part. II), or have children playing as if they had the force (Jean-Marc Vallée's Big Little Lies). 
An attempt for an auteurist cinema has its limits in Toronto so a good goal is to reach for the sky and produce something great in the model of some of the most popular and imaginative films of the last century. In the shadow of Hollywood, there's a need to do everything to bring attention to your film, first people need to want to see your film, before they can evaluate and appreciate it.

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