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Reg Hartt: The Cineforum

CineforumWhen I was 19, downtown Yonge street seemed like the coolest place on earth. I loved getting a little tipsy and wandering up and down the bustling streets.

I remember seeing all these flyers plastered everywhere advertising The Cineforum. I had this idea of cool underground movies that were too progressive for normal theatres. (maybe like Quentin Tarantino movie now).

This is nothing what The Cineforum is actually like.

The Cineforum has been showing movies since 1992, and plays mostly older experimental movies that were ground breaking for the time, and when put into context very cool and informative... but not the height of entertainment by today's standards.

We chose to see the Anarchist Surrealist Hallucinatory Film Festival. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but what I got wasn't it.

The Theatre itself is Reg Hartt's front living room. He has given it a movie theme by hanging old movie posters and paraphernalia on the walls, but it still feels a little weird to be in someone's house.

Instead of going straight into the film like I expected, most films are preceded by a talk by Reg. At the time I remember being a little impatient to get to the film, but in retrospect there was a lot of interesting stuff in the talk. He did drift around a bit, telling personal stories that were a little extreme, but overall interesting.

You can see why the movie itself wouldn't be shown on normal tv. It was a disjointed series of clips that were filmed to push boundaries. (at one point he slices a woman's eye open). Again, contextually it's neat... but entertainment wise it's a little dry.

Reg finished the night off by offering a free screening of the first movie to ever show dinosaurs. This was pretty cool, but we left soon after seeing the first Dino. (again, cool in context but it got boring fast... it was no Jurassic Park).

One of the things that would be really cool to see would be the Sex and Violence in Cartoons show. It features some of the Censored Eleven, a collection of Loony Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons that were deemed too offensive to be released. (Usually because of their depiction of black people).

These cartoons have not been officially broadcast on TV since 1968, and only officially exhibited once by Warner Brothers.

While The Cineforum may not be one of THE naughtiest things to do in Toronto, it's definitely worth a visit.

Cineforum Neon SignIf you are heading on down to the Cineforum, you can easily find the place by looking for the neon sign in the window.

The suggested donation is $20.00 with a $10 discount for those 24 or younger.


The Cineforum

463 Bathurst St
Toronto, ON
(416) 603-6643
Website

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