Last night if you were in the downtown core of Toronto, you would have experienced a strange phenomena from 7pm to 7am... Nuit Blanche (or "Scotiabank Nuit Blanche" if you feel the need to include the corporate behemoth that bank rolls it).
"Toronto's annual sunset to sunrise celebration of contemporary art returns to mark a five-year milestone. Discover art in galleries, museums and unexpected places. From building façades and city parks to alleyways and heritage buildings, choose from more than 130 destinations and chart your own path."I was able to curate a little project in a 500 seat cinema in the newly opened TIFF Bell Lightbox building. There were several other events and installations in the building which houses five state of the art cinemas and gallery spaces in a wide open design. The structure throbbed with energy until the wee wee hours of the morning.
My little project was somewhat fitting considering celebration of high cinema at Lightbox since it opened mid-September. On the same screen where earlier that week The Passion of Joan of Arc screened with a live orchestra, I defiled the snooty intergrity of the space by projecting over seventy trailers for an assortment of sleazy, bloody and action films in a two and a half hour show that ran continuously from 9:30PM to 7:00AM. I called my event --- GRINDBOX!
Saturday October 2nd, 2010
9:30PM until 7:00AM
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Reitman Square, 350 King Street West
A tribute to the beloved American institution of the grindhouse – a term for theatres that mainly showed exploitation films, named after the defunct burlesque theaters located on New York City's 42nd Street where "bump n' grind" dancing and striptease were featured – this presentation of vintage trailers for horror and exploitation films from around the world is a cinematic celebration of the weird, the wild and the wonderful, balanced on the border between art and trash. Note: Mature content, suitable for audiences 18+. – Curated by Colin Geddes.
The trailers came from my own film collection, from the holdings of Vagrancy Films in London, Ontario and from the fine, honourable gang of cinematic soldiers at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. It was quite the undertaking to splice it all together (thanks to James King for his precise dedication to this task!) and it will certainly be the only time that this assortment of trailers will been shown together. In other words, if you missed it last night, you'll never get a chance to witness this spectacle ever again!
Of course, there had to be ample warnings about just what folks were getting themselves into...
Here is the playlist for Grindbox:
Alain Quatermain & The City of Gold
Fear No Evil
Message From Space
Dawn of the Dead
Hot Dog ad
Master of the Flying Guillotine
Golden Voyage of Sinbad
Carnival of Blood/Curse of the Headless Horseman
Big Brother PSA
Bury Me an Angel
Mr. No Legs
Island of Dr. Moreau
Comin' At Ya!
Kansas City Bomber
Cannonball Run 2
He Knows You're Alone
Orca The Killer Whale
Three The Hard Way
Tarzan and the City of Lost Gold
Madame KittyUniversal Soldier
I Come in Peace
Snack Food ad
Fist of Fear, Touch of Death
Tarzan's Three Challenges
Incredible Melting Man
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Dagmar's Hot Pants
Make Them Die Slowly
Yor Hunter From The Future
The best reaction from the crowd? Easily the appearance of Chuck Norris in the Invasion USA trailer. The trailer that shocked them the most? The uber gory trailer for Make Them Die Slowly. That one was quite the skull fuck and even shocked me as I hadn't seen it before.
I got lots of great feedback from the show and who knows, maybe there will be Grindbox 2! in 2011?