Super 8 Filmmaker John Porter, Toronto, Canada
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John Porter has been a filmmaker, performer, photographer
and writer in Toronto since 1968. He has made 300 films and performed
100 solo shows internationally.
John Porter has been a filmmaker, performer, photographer and writer in Toronto since 1968. He has made over , mostly super 8, performed over internationally, and has been called “the king of super 8”, among other names.
Using film as a visual art like painting, many of his short films are silent, made in series' (Camera Dances, crowd portraits, local histories, rituals, toy stories), and he shows his originals (no copies). While projecting some he performs live in the audience, in front of the screen, or while hand-holding the small projector for "surround super 8" in galleries and for projecting onto passing people and vehicles while "film-busking" on the street at night. His films are dynamic, humorous and revealing, enjoyed by people of all ages.
John's and his , and while he was growing up he explored drawing, writing, acting and photography. He studied photography and 16mm film production at (1969-74), worked as a Letter Carrier (1976-81, photo) and Bicycle Courier (1987-98), and has received five “B” or “Creation” Grants, in Film or Multi-Disciplinary Art, from the Canada Council for the Arts since 1984. He has taught many super 8 workshops and spoken in many university film classes, and he taught super 8 and 16mm Film Workshop credit courses in 2005 and 2008, at , Peterborough, Ontario.
He has been actively involved with several artist-run centres in Toronto since 1978, including serving many years on Boards of Directors. He's been most consistently involved with (1977-1989), Artists Film Exhibition Group (since 1989) and Underground Cinema (since 1991). Throughout the 1980s he organized many Monthly Open Film Screenings at The Funnel and , and made and projected (photo) with the band . More recently, he co-organized Monthly Open Screenings at CineCycle for 31 consecutive months (2004-2006).
In 1998 Pleasure Dome published a book about him,
, and he was included
in Scott MacDonald’s
(University of California Press, ).
In 2007 John went on a 4-week, 7-screening/performance , incuding two critically-acclaimed shows at the , and then he did two different shows at in New York City. In 2017 he did a third different show at Anthology, part of a 3-city tour of New York State.
His on-going community activism includes photographing, writing and publishing about local underground film activity, advocating super 8 film and $50 film budgets, and resisting the dominance of the film industry, the , and video. He resisted email and the internet until 2005.
"Beautifully made miniatures, John's operettas appeared
as the culmination of something, a snowy white cap of narrow gauge cinema."
"Witty and poignant, Porter's films embrace the
limitations of the small format to inspire creative ideas. He brings an
infectious enthusiasm to filmmaking that is open to all."
"Porter is a Toronto-based visual genius who, in
the ’70s and ’80s,
"een van de wonderlijkste filmervaringen op het
"John Porter argues compellingly for small-gauge,
"Trace a coup sur de nouvelles voies au septieme
"Unique in my experience of movies."
John Porter made more than 100 super 8 films
John Porter projected with the band ,