Super 8 Filmmaker John Porter, Toronto, Canada



New in Toronto! The inaugural

the 8 fest

Small-Gauge Film Festival
Super 8, 8mm, loops, and their kin.
Friday & Saturday, February 22 & 23, 2008
Trash Palace Theatre
, Bathurst & Niagara, Toronto

Program Notes - Bageroo (recent Canadian films)
Poster -
Press - Links - Facebook group
the8fest at gmail dot com

the 8 fest organizers:
Benny Zenga, Milada Kovacova, Jonathan Culp, Scott Berry.
Co-presented by Trash Palace - Toronto's Classiest Cinema.
Sponsored by Homemade Movies' Home Movie History Project.


Article in Canada's national daily newspaper The Globe & Mail.

Article in Toronto's entertainment newspaper EYE Weekly,
and a Letter to the Editor about the EYE Weekly article:

TAKING STOCK - Jason Anderson risks perpetuating a persistent myth when he says the world is "literally running out of Super-8 stock" ("Super-8 is enough", Feb. 21). There are in fact more Super-8 stocks in existence right now than at any time in history. The future of Super-8 film has never looked so good. RICK PALIDWOR (EYE Letters, Feb. 28)

Blurb in Toronto's bi-weekly gay & lesbian newspaper Xtra!:

The 8 Fest
A weekend-long celebration of small-guage films. Queerer programs include Counter Narratives with works by Heather Childs, Graham Hollings, Luis Jacob, Ryan Kamstra, Andrew Paterson and many more. 9pm, Fri, Feb 22. Then there's illustrator and bookmaker Ian Phillips and textile artist Grant Heaps' eclectic collection of home movies, Orphan Films. 7pm, Feb 23. Followed by Bring Your Own Home Movies (home movie repair clinic at 6pm). $5 suggested donation. Trash Palace. (A secret tiny King West screening room; you have to buy a ticket to get the address).
203-2389. the8fest at gmail dot com. trashpalace dot ca.


the following was distributed in advance of the festival


Friday, February 22, 7pm

Super 8 Sound - Films by Saul Levine

A legend of small-gauge filmmaking, Saul Levine's (Boston) practice includes film, video, live performance, collage & installation. Included in the Museum of Modern Art's 1998 exhibition Big As Life: An American History of 8mm Films, Levine's work is noted for its incorporation of splice marks, percussive editing, "unconstrained camera movements and spontaneous formal accidents" (Steve Anker).  This distinctive style, informed by a background in the blues, poetry, and radical politics, produces "exquisitely kinetic," and often very beautiful cinematic experiences. Since 1964, Levine has made over 80 films and videos.

Raps And Chants, Parts I & II (1981, super 8, color, sound, 26 minutes)
Raps And Chants first part is a man's monologue about a grueling LSD adventure and the second is the portrait of a woman, gleefully milking cacophony from a tape recorder by rapidly playing with the buttons." - P. Adams Sitney, Village Voice

Notes of an Early Fall (1976, super 8, color, sound, 33 minutes)
Notes was mostly made in Binghamton in 1976 - a warped record constructed out of visits to the zoo, relatives and various locations. "Levine's first talkie, Notes of an Early Fall is a characteristically raw work that parlays even the sound of microphone rumble into a formal element." - Jim Hoberman


Friday, February 22, 9pm


There's more to cheesy old educational films than meets the eye! Armed with his trusty Technicolor Super 8 Cartridge projector and a passel of vintage classroom loops, the 8 fest's Jonathan Culp invites performers of widely varying stripes to 'narrate' these silent artifacts to their own satisfaction. What will a room full of aesthetes make of such titles as Lemming MigrationMovement in the CityDesert Tortoise Courtship Ritual and Snacks? This will probably be your only chance to find out!

Featuring: Rose Bianchini, Lora Bozabalian, Dan the Mouth, Heather Childs,
The Choral Riffs, Graham Hollings, Ryan Kamstra, Dwayne Morgan,
Andrew Paterson, Matthew Trafford, Jane Walker, Jessica Westhead, Greg Woods.


Saturday, February 23, 7pm

Homemade Movies' home movie history project presents

Home Movie Repair Clinic - 6pm

followed by:

Orphan Films - 7pm
A screening of long lost 'orphaned' films. Local collectors Grant Heaps & Ian Phillips are on a quest to find, preserve and re-present all the forgotten home movies that end washed-up on the shores of goodwills, auctions and dumpsters. From impromptu wrestling at a 'cognac party', to a man saving a chair from a gas station fire, to the set (in Barrie) of The Littlest Hobo, to cottage life on the Toronto Islands in 1934, we offer strangely compelling portraits of everyday life from the 1930's to 1970's!

followed by:

Bring Your Home Movies
The second part of our screening is your chance to bring your 8mm or super 8 home movies to show. Dig through your parent's attic or grab that orphaned reel you found at the thrift shop.

AND - If you no longer have a working projector, come early to our Home Movie Repair Clinic starting at 6pm. Let us help you one-on-one to look through your home movie collection again and give advice on preserving your films.


Saturday, February 23, 9pm

Bageroo - the art of simply super 8

Two decades ago, rumours circulated among filmmakers that super 8 film stock was to be discontinued by Kodak. Images - numerous and proliferating - of the demolition of Kodak's plants invade the evening news these days; and this phenomenon parallels Kodak's game plan as they shift from analogue to digital. So the future of super 8 film stock remains as shaky as it has been for the last two decades.

But there are pockets in North America - such as Vancouver, Milwaukee, Saskatoon and Ottawa, just to name a few - where filmmakers continue to build an artistic practice working in super 8. The 8 fest will endeavor to provide Toronto with an exhibition platform dedicated solely to small-gauge celluloid.
Bageroo - the art of simply super 8 brings to the big screen a selection of recent work and a few older pieces. John Porter (aka the "Godfather of Super 8" to many) delights with a new Condensed Ritual of a small-town bowling alley; Tanya Read premieres a new work hot from the lab; and archival gems from Adrian GöllnerClifford Caines, and others will be brought to you for your viewing pleasure!

Complete "Bageroo" program notes below!

The 8 fest was organized by
Benny Zenga, Milada Kovacova, Jonathan Culp and Scott Berry.
Thanks to: Stacey Case, Laura Cowell, Tim Dallett, David Fingrut, Dan Lovranski,
Jim Munroe, John Porter, Alex Rogalski, Jason St-Laurent, Roger D. Wilson,
Canyon Cinema, The Images Festival, New York Filmmakers Cooperative,
L.I.F.T., Pleasure Dome and Trinity Square Video.
Suggested donation - $5 per screening.

For more info or to subscribe to our e-list,
contact us at: the8fest at gmail dot com

the 8 fest  - a little festival for small films


the following was distributed at the Bageroo screening

Bageroo - the art of simply super 8
Trash Palace Theatre, Toronto,
Saturday, February 23, 9pm

All films projected on super 8, silent, or with seperate recorded or live sound.

1. Tanya Read, Mr. Nobody compilation (1998-ongoing, 6 minutes, sound)

2. Brent Bell, 10 Mega-Actions to Supermaximize Your Happiness Potential
(2003, 3 minutes, sound)

3. Rick Palidwor, There's a wooly mammoth hair in the gate (2007, 3 min., sound)

4. James Lumsden, Hockey Night In Vanier (2007, 3 minutes 20 seconds, silent)

5. Scott Warwick, No. 7 (1994, 3 minutes, sound)

6. Leah Simms-Karp, Made Up (2007, 3 mins. 20 secs., original music by Matt Cisco)

7. John Porter, Bowling in Manitouwadge
(2007, 7 minutes, live narration by Edie Steiner)

8. Martin Reis, My Summer is with Olmo
(2007, 6 minutes, original music by Tomasz Ciesla)

9. Adrian Göllner, Mostly Lamp Posts (1994, 3 minutes 20 seconds, silent)

10. Cliff Haines, 2-Minute Façade (2008, 2 minutes, silent)

11. Roger D. Wilson, listen and you will hear her cry (2007, 3 mins. 20 secs., sound)

12. Alex Rogalski, land of living skies
(2006, 3 minutes 20 seconds, live musical accompaniment by Alex Rogalski)

13. Ainsley Walton, Sheilah MacKinnon & Greta Grip,
Cooking with Cronos and Rhea (2007, 3 minutes 20 seconds, sound)

14. John Porter, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, 1967
(2008, 2 minutes, live narration by John Porter)

15. Tanya Read, Siphon (2008, 5 minutes, sound)


Bageroo Program Notes

Tanya Read
Mr. Nobody compilation (1998-ongoing, 6 minutes, sound)
Mr. Nobody is a black and white anthropomorphic cartoon animal of questionable pedigree. The inspiration for this character comes from the Depression era cartoons of Max Fleischer (Betty Boop, etc.) and George Harriman (Krazy Kat). Mr. Nobody is an attempt to embody the ambiguous and surreal quality of those cartoons. He is a Buster Keaton, a Charlie Chaplin, an average 'Joe' of our times, somewhat perplexed by the state of affairs in the world today.

Tanya Read graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1995 and since then she has been active in the Toronto art community. She was a co-founder and exhibiting artist in the Impure collective, a group of artists who organized exhibitions in Toronto between 1994 and 1998. In 1999, she and Scott Carruthers opened ‘Fly Gallery’ in the Queen West neighbourhood where she lives; Fly Gallery is a storefront window used as an alternative exhibition space for artists, which continues as an ongoing project.


Brent Bell
10 Mega-Actions to Supermaximize Your Happiness Potential (2003, 3 mins., sound)
10 Mega-Actions to Supermaximize Your Happiness Potential will change your life in ways you can't possibly conceive. particularly the parts of it that are in focus.

Brett Bell is a Regina-based filmmaker, who typically works in longer forms, bigger gauges, and films that put him further into debt than Super 8 ever could.  Other short films include the narratives Blueberry and Slatland.


Rick Palidwor
There's a wooly mammoth hair in the gate (2006, 3 minutes, sound)
There's a wooly mammoth hair in the gate. Repeat: there's a wooly mammoth hair in the gate.

Rick Palidwor is the Program Advisor for the Hart House Film Board and he shoots a lot of super 8.


James Lumsden
Hockey Night In Vanier (2007, 3 minutes 30 seconds, silent)
It depicts a night in the life of ‘Players who have to Pay’, ordinary men who escape the everyday grind to recapture the essence of the sport of hockey every week on a Sunday evening inside the cold local skating rink.

James Lumsden is a burgeoning filmmaker who works with super 8 film to craft short documentaries of life in general.  He has been a full-time member of the Independent Film Co-Op of Ottawa since 2004, and works full-time as a mail courier for the federal government, along with pursuing his degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa on a part-time basis, in his spare time.


Scott Warwick
No. 7 (1994, 3 minutes, sound)
It is a conceptually pure piece and a record of some real endurance.  Entitled, No. 7, Scott got on the No. 7 bus in Ottawa at its first scheduled stop, then he got off at the very next stop and waited there for the next No.7 bus and filmed it pulling up.  He then got on it and went to the next stop and repeated the process. This continued for the whole route.

Scott Warwick is now a lawyer in Toronto.


Leah Simms-Karp
Made Up (2007, 3 minutes 30 seconds, original music by Matt Cisco)
Made Up tries to comment on social constructions of sexuality, a voyeuristic gaze, the presence of body as commodity, conscious versus subconscious, and tries to map out the gender divide through image. This piece was filmed by Leah Simms-Karp and planned in collaboration with Ross MacDougall, and music by Matt Cisco.

Ottawa-born Leah Simms-Karp grew up in a creative family and has always been involved in the arts community. She is now a Cultural Studies major at Trent University, with her focus in film and media, hoping to communicate important social commentary through art.


John Porter
Bowling in Manitouwadge (2007, 7 minutes, live narration by Edie Steiner)
Bowling in Manitouwadge is a new Condensed Ritual of a small bowling alley. This is a world premier.

John Porter has been a filmmaker, photographer, performer and writer in Toronto since 1968. He has made 300 super 8 films, and projects his originals (no copies) himself.


Martin Reis
My Summer is with Olmo (2007, 6 minutes, original music by Tomasz Ciesla)
My summer is with Olmo is a joyride on two wheels through Canada's biggest metropolis. Man and machine in harmony.

Martin Helmut Reis is a visual artist based in Toronto. His films have been featured on the CBC, in Canadian, US & UK Film Festivals and his photography is published regularly in Brick, a literary journal.


Adrian Göllner
Mostly Lamp Posts (1994, 3 minutes 30 seconds, silent)
Very short, static shots of lamp posts against the sky....for the most part.

Adrian Göllner is an artist living in Ottawa.


Cliff Caines
2-Minute Façade (2008, 2 minutes, silent)
For the architect, a façade must express what is inside. Modern architecture rejected ornament. It expressed structure, form & function. A single-take, single-shot super 8mm film loop, 2-Minute Façade is a teleological study of a literal, unidentified façade.

Cliff Caines is a Toronto-based media artist whose film & video works have been exhibited internationally. He holds a MFA degree from Concordia University, and an undergraduate degree from OCAD where he currently teaches in the Integrated Media program.


Roger D. Wilson
listen and you will hear her cry (2007, 3 minutes 30 seconds, sound)
listen and you will hear her cry is a look at humanity’s impact on nature. Our waste continues to pile up putting a lot of pressure on the planet and the wildlife that rely on it for food and habitat.

Roger D. Wilson is an Ottawa based filmmaker. He has been shooting super 8 since graduating from film school in 1993. Roger is presently the Technical Director at Ottawa’s Independent Film Co-op - IFCO.


Alex Rogalski
land of living skies
(2006, 3 mins. 30 secs., live musical accompaniment by Alex Rogalski)
These stories are told from recollection, reconciling that all things change.

Alex Rogalski was born in Melville, Saskatchewan and started super 8 filmmaking in Regina. He is the creator of the "One Take Super 8 Event" which has traveled across North America.


Ainsley Walton, Sheilah MacKinnon + Greta Grip
Cooking with Cronos and Rhea (2007, 3 minutes 30 seconds, sound)
Cooking with Cronos and Rhea is a 1950s domestic take on the story of Greco-Roman gods/titans Cronos and Rhea.  If you don't know the story, we suggest you take a look at the painting, Saturno devorando a un hijo by Francesco Goya when you get home.

Ainsley Walton, Sheilah MacKinnon + Greta Grip have day jobs fixing art.  From time to time, they enjoy creating their own, including this short film (originally created for a one-take super 8 challenge in Ottawa).


John Porter
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, 1967 (2008, 2 minutes, live narration)
In an anniversary tribute to the CFMDC, John Porter, archivist par excellence, records the first location of the CFMDC at Yonge and Bloor Streets. This building is being demolished next month.

John Porter is a film community activist partly embodied in his website


Tanya Read
Siphon (2008, 5 minutes, sound)
Mr. Nobody has been reduced to a giant head, blinking and floating in a void. A collage of found images from magazines pass through the large blank ovals that represent his eyes, creating a media saturated stream of consciousness. Mr. Nobody acts as the filter. He is eventually consumed and obliterated, with only the void remaining.

Tanya Read created Mr. Nobody in 1998 and her work since then has received extensive critical acclaim including articles in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Canadian Art Magazine, Calgary Herald and Korea Times. She has exhibited work in Toronto, Calgary, Hamilton, Seoul, Korea and Japan. Tanya looks forward to working with Mr. Nobody for many years to come.