super8porter
Super 8 Filmmaker John Porter, Toronto, Canada

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John's Upcoming Shows - 100 Solo Shows - New Films - 300 Films - Top 25 - Photos


- JOHN'S BIOGRAPHY -

Published Endorsements of John's Work

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

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.
He studied Film & Photography at Ryerson University, and has received government arts grants, taught filmmaking workshops, and written published histories of alternative film in Toronto.

DETAILED BIOGRAPHY

John Porter has been a filmmaker, performer, photographer and writer in Toronto since 1968. He has made over 300 films, mostly super 8, performed over 100 solo shows 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 mother is a painter and his father was a scientist, and while he was growing up he explored drawing, writing, acting and photography. He studied photography and 16mm film production at Ryerson University (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 his first super 8 and 16mm Film Workshop credit courses in the Summers of 2005 and 2008, at Trent University, 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 The Funnel Experimental Film Theatre (1977-1989), Pleasure Dome Artists Film Exhibition Group (since 1989) and CineCycle Underground Cinema (since 1991). Throughout the 1980s he organized many Monthly Open Film Screenings at The Funnel and A Space Gallery, and made and projected (photo) super 8 films with the band Fifth Column. 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, The John Porter Film Activity Book with essays by John McCullough, Chris Gehman, Steve Reinke and Gerald Saul, and he was included in Scott MacDonald’s A Critical Cinema 3: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (University of California Press, review). In 2006 a feature article about him by Rick Palidwor was published in Super 8 Today Magazine #5 (USA), and in 2007, smallformat magazine #5 (English and German editions published in Berlin) included an 8-page article about John - smallformat's longest article ever - with 28 photos.

In 2007 John went on a 4-week, 7-screening/performance tour of Europe, incuding two critically-acclaimed shows at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and then he did two shows at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

His on-going community activism includes photographing and writing about local underground film activity, advocating super 8 film and $50 film budgets, and resisting the dominance of the film industry, the Ontario Film Review Board, and video. He resisted email and the internet until 2005.

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PUBLISHED ENDORSEMENTS 1982-2007
of John's work

"Porter is a Toronto-based visual genius who, in the ’70s and ’80s,
fully extended the artistic possibilities of Super-8. You will not believe the analog awesomeness of these antique-format experiments."
(Time Out Magazine, New York City, March 22, 2007)

"een van de wonderlijkste filmervaringen op het /
one of the most wonderful film experiences of the
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2007."
(Tonio van Vugt, Zone 5300 - Strips, Cultuur & Curiosa, January 30, 2007)

"My goodness but this fun film is the work of a pro!
John Porter's In the Gutter is fast and funny...while a little scary."
(Sally McKay, Lola No. 7, Toronto, Fall 2000)

"As magical for contemporary audiences as the original, Georges Méliès trick-films must have seemed a century ago."
(Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema 3, University of California Press, 1998)

"John Porter argues compellingly for small-gauge, super-8mm filmmaking."
(A Critical Cinema 3 book promotion, University of California Press, 1998)

"Porter is an ideal experimental film ambassador to the general community.
His films are fun to watch and require no prior schooling to appreciate."
(Chris Gehman, The John Porter Film Activity Book, Toronto, 1998)

"Trace a coup sur de nouvelles voies au septieme art."
"Certainly marks a new direction for the seventh art."
(Mathieu Albert, Le Devoir, Montreal, 1984)

"Unique in my experience of movies."
(Jim Hoberman, The Village Voice, New York City, 1982)

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John Porter made more than 100 super 8 films
during 5 years as a Letter Carrier, 1976-1981.
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John Porter projected super 8 films with the band Fifth Column,
1983-1992. (photo by Tim Howe)
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John's Upcoming Shows - 100 Solo Shows - New Films - 300 Films - "Top 25" - Photos

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