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The Last Pogo

Colin Brunton

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[image-4]Published October 09, 2008.
The Last Pogo
Directed by: Colin Brunton
(indie)
For a short time in the late 1970s, two promoters---Gary Cormier and Gary Topp---booked incredible punk and new wave bands into Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern, including The Police, Talking Heads, The Ramones and The Stranglers. But the bar's new owners weren't so happy, so on December 1, 1978, the two Garys threw a big farewell bash, named The Last Pogo. Their favourite Toronto punk bands played, including The Scenics, The Cardboard Brains, The Secrets, The Mods, The Ugly, The Viletones and Teenage Head. That is, until the cops showed up and a decent-sized riot broke out. Colin Brunton's 26-minute concert film, which screened at NXNE for the first time in 30 years, is a straightforward document of the night, until the riot, where only the sound guy remained. Even if you're not into 1970s Canadian punk, this doc is worth a watch for the crowd shots of oft-replicated skinny jeans and ties, teased hair and sunglasses. Be sure to watch it with the commentary on---Viletone Chris Haight doesn't offer any insight, but his lack of memory of the event is pure Spinal Tap. Brunton---a filmmaking newbie who went on to direct Hedwig And The Angry Inch---is now tracking down all 500 people present that night for The Last Pogo Jumps Again.
--Sue Carter Flinn

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