The Last Pogo Jumps Again – Movie Review Canadian Music Week 2013

The Last Pogo Jumps Again


T-Mak World has extensive coverage of Canadian Music Week here

March 13 2013 – Canadian Music Week (CMW) is a multi-faceted festival that runs in Toronto, Canada every March. Last year T-Mak World saw and reviewed 34 bands and interviewed 10 more. This year we expand our coverage to movies! Yes it is true, CMW features a movie festival as part of its programming and this year it is entitled Canadian Music Week FilmFest 13. The three day film festival runs from March 21-23rd and features 8 films that all screen at the TIFF Lightbox. The full schedule can be seen here. Advanced tickets are priced at $10 each and can be purchased online at or through Day of screening tickets will be available at the TIFF Bell Lightbox box office. The movie plays March 23rd at 1:00 pm.

Today we review The Last Pogo Jumps Again. The description on the film’s CMW page reads:

A history of the first wave of Toronto punk rock and new wave music, from when the Ramones played in ‘76 through to when the cops gave Teenage Head the boot at “The Last Pogo” concert in December, 1978.

As a Torontonian, there is something surreal about watching a documentary showing the evolution of Toronto and the burgeoning punk / new wave, alternative music scene starting in the late 70’s. The Last Pogo Jumps Again is an unpretentious no-holds-barred retrospective on the growing pain of the first wave of this underground movement as it struggles for legitimacy.
With endless archival footage, some in the style of Cinema Verite, vintage posters, yesteryear band members and concert promoters waxing poetic, directors Colin Brunton and Kire Paputtshave documented a musical time capsule rarely captured on film.

Using the 1978 film The Last Pogo as a jumping-off point,  this documentary chronicles who’s playing where, who’s promoting whom, who just landed a record deal and who’s breaking all the rules as band after band jockey’s for street cred during the heydays of the counter culture movement. The Viletones, The Diodes, The Buzzcocks (England), Teenage Head, The UGLY, D.O.A. (Vancouver), The Mods, The Troggs (England), The Wads, The Biffs and Rough Tradewere just a few of the bands that gave rise to a new musical wave.  Connecting this convoluted narrative is the stylized use of animated maps, fonts and colour comics by Rick Trembles (think Lee’s Palace exteriors come to life) which gives the perfect geographical representation of the key venues such as The Colonial, The New Yorker, Beverly Tavern, The Horseshoe and many many more.

Not to be out done by the boys, the girl power punk movement was channelled in the form of bands like The B-Girls, The Androids, True Confessions, The Concords and The Curse who faced their own hurdles in this violent alpha male dominated sub culture. But the musical times they were a chang’n. Without an established Canadian music business to take care of this alternative scene and nurture their visions, the majority of bands simply petered out as some band members relented by quietly slipping into legitimate career paths. This transition was not kind to all.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5   In the end, the Toronto music landscape of the late 70’s was forever changed with the infusion of the punk / alternative movement. These pioneers who broke down the doors to announce an unequivocal expression of their art may have been ahead of their time. Six years in the making, The Last Pogo Jumps Again successfully explores the whys and wherefores of what was arguably one of the most exciting but misunderstood musical movements in Toronto’s history.

Tageline: London had the Sex Pistons, New York had the Ramones, but Toronto had a punk  movement all its own.

DirectorsColin Brunton and Kire Paputts
Running Time: 204 Minutes
Review by John Dash

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