A Film Festival That's a Hunka Junk
In need of a little kitsch and nostalgia to warm up from the cold weather, I'll be catching local film archivist Dion Conflict's sixth installment of the Hunka Junk Film Festival this weekend at the Bloor Cinema. In typical Hunka Junk style, Conflict will be offering an assortment of short films and commercials dating back long before text messaging and bit-torrent were commonplace - heck - before pay TV even existed.
Up for grabs are We'll See Tomorrow, an industrial short on eye safety, which Conflict describes as having "an Ambrose Bierce feel, targeted at blaming children!" Another short features a new fad; something called "Roller Skating." The show is spliced with various commercials, from Wham-O to Quebecois novelty records and "info-tainment" films which were predecessors to infomercials.
Having recently hosted Christmas Kitsch and the Grindhouse marathon Shock & Awe at the Fox Theatre, Dion Conflict has been collecting odd tidbits of film ephemera for years. "Capturing a time or lifestyle on film is accidental history," he says. "It's funny how much things change yet stay the same."
The films and clips presented in Hunka Junk remind us of a different, simpler time, when you ordered from the Consumers Distributing catalogue, and when people used answering services, not machines; Conflict had that in mind when curating his film series, ultimately saving these bits of film from the trash-bins of cinematic oblivion: "I'm not of the generation to expect everything online or at my fingertips, so I appreciate the hunt, and being able to share my finds with others. It's a celluloid show and tell."
Contributed by Eric Veillette. Photo by Tanja
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