Whew! The premiere of Monkey Warfare was a lavish-ish affair. The day started with breakfast at Mitzi’s Sister, which I highly recommend, then a little blogging about the previous day, then off to the races and non-stop film fest madness. My lack of sleep is degrading my mind so please forgive me if this all seems rather delusional.

We raced to meet for Jagermeister shots with the cast and crew before the show. We were too slow for that, and instead had to dive right into the theatre without alcoholic preparation. One of the film fest volunteers questioned me about my “I Fuck the Man” shirt, wondering whether it was legal to post this phrase around town as someone had done. I replied that Toronto has broad community standards and therefore it was all good. Then, rather than berating me for my callousness, he wanted to know how to buy a shirt. They’re all sold out til theatrical release, baby!
Then, on the other hand, the volunteer checking tickets looked at my shirt and seemed to think it was equal to a guest pass into the theatre. As we were passing by in a group of cast & crew, he was like, “pass, pass, pass, uh… fuck the man? pass, pass.”

[Reg intros the producers: Jennifer Jonas, Leonard Farlinger, and Kris King]
Reg introduced the crowd of film-helpers up at the front of the room, then thanked the people who helped him come up with Monkey Warfare’s idea-kernel by chanting OM with the whole crowd.
[REG and almost everyone: Cindy Wolfe, Nadia Litz, Don McKellar, Tracy Wright, and Jennifer Jonas]
It was good to finally see it up on the big screen. My scene, the Molotov Cocktail sequence, is doomed never to see theatrical release, for obvious legal reasons. But it was the very last thing on screen, even after the credits, and so I got increasingly nervous as the show went on. Then it was finally over and there was a Q & A. Someone asked if Reg’s fame would go to his head. My question is, what went to his head before he was famous?! Someone else asked if he thought his film would gentrify Parkdale by making it seem cool. Touche.
[Reg and Gary Burns]
Hmm, it is hard to convey the magical nature of a film premiere in mere words. Standing up there after the show, in this giant cinema with awesome sounds system etc, knowing you have helped make something that really works on screen, is a great feeling. All the people I meet through the Reg world restore my faith in cinema, and help erase the dark creepy feeling you get when tangled up with the Hollywood or Hollywood-wannabe schmoozers that clutter up the film universe.
[off to the party in Jennifer’s brother’s stripped-down racing Golf]
Okay, enough hippy crap, next we zoomed off to dinner, then setting up sound at the Boat for the after-party. We drove there in this crazy stripped-down racing Volkswagen with no cloth on the seats, super safety bucket seats in front and a dearth of seatbelts. Something about the intense way the car was described inspired me to believe it would never, never crash.
[At the party with Cindy Wolfe, Brad Dryborough and Flick]
Unfortunately, I was more of an MC than a sound person and the first 2 or 3 times I got on the mic there was absolutely no sound coming out of the speaker. It must have looked like a mime show because I was totally unaware no one could hear me. Generally, no one wants to stop schmoozing and listen to some idiot rockin’ the mic anyway. The best I got was a couple verses of “I fuck the man but the man won,” and a few wicked french mc bits like “Un, deux, trois, c’est l’endroit” and “Ah, oui,” something or other. Oh, and “Reggie en regie!

The staff at the bar were awesome, Ying the waitress / techie was ripping VCR’s out of their sockets like lightning to help me set up the jury-rigged visuals.
[Ying who rocked]
DJ La Twisteuse was playing funky french pop and so on, it was very danceable and amazing. Then DJ Hans Lucas came on and blasted the place with his unique brand of 60’s protest funk. DJ Hans Lucas looks very suspiciously like Reg Harkema, you may notice.
[DJ Hans Lucas, which is the germanic form of Jean-Luc, as in Godard]
Finally DJ Mishigas (how the hell do you spell that?) rocked the town to the extent that no one wanted to leave until we were forced by law. I had a nice long conversation about science fiction, including a wicked-sounding Australian novel series called “Tomorrow when the war began.” It’s about Australia getting conquered in the near future by a nearby giant nation.
[Amazing publicist who got us insane coverage, Suzanne Cheriton, and the above-mentioned “Tomorrow when the War Began” fan who should email me about it.]
[Johnny “Jimmy” Cliff, Brad Dryborough, and Flick]
[Marc Stephenson, Penelope Buitenhuis, Erik Paulsson, and Flick]

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