Porn Pop

Gay porn & Owen Pallett @ POP Montreal 2008

This week we're following a handful of Toronto musicians as they navigate the bilingual lotus land of Pop Montreal.

It's so rare nowadays you get a chance to see 1970's gay porn on the silver screen. There's something magical about the jerky camera zooms, the appalling dialogue about "cornholing" and of course the winsome 19-year-olds having bareback sex.

The only thing that could heighten the experience is a live orchestra of some of the top musicians in Canada, including Owen Pallett of 'Final Fantasy'.

It all went down on Friday night at the Cinema L'amour, a turn of the century Vaudeville theatre that's been converted into "Montreal's most sex-sational" film venue.

Local rapper Socalled, Allen Watsky, and Mike Duebe were among the musicians performing a live, doo-wop soundtrack to Cruisin' 57. The film is best described as a gay porn remake of American Graffiti; it's about repressed 1950's teenage desire and smoking cigarettes while being fellated.

The film, though kitschy and sweet, was pretty hardcore. There were a number of walkouts during the show. The people who stuck by their red velvets seats to the end (or stuck to their seats, as it were...) experienced something wonderful and unique.

I caught up with Mr. Pallett, the evening's violinist, for an exclusive interview after the show.

blogTO: Whose idea was it to throw this event tonight (dubbed 'Porn Pop'), and how did you get on board?

Owen: Stef Shneider called me in and asked me if I would do it. I had no idea what was involved; I came very late last night and stayed up learning these doo-wop songs. It was fun.

blogTO: If the CN Tower belongs to the dead, who does the Metro Cinema in Toronto belong to?

Owen: Which one is that? Is that the one near Christie station?

blogTO: Exactly.

Owen: The Koreans.

blogTO: Do you think we're using our classic sex cinema venues enough in Toronto? Do you think we're missing a trick?

Owen: I've seen a lot of bands moving into accompanying silent films and stuff like that. I think accompanying porn like this is pretty exciting. The soundtrack of a film like Cruisin' 57 is low quality because it's underground cinema. I would love to do something with a Jack Smith film. It's not quite porn but it's close enough.

blogTO: Do you think Toronto is too uptight for an event like this? Do you think they're more open-minded in Montreal?

Owen: I don't know if open mindedness has anything to do with it. I guess it's just different tastes, you know? (laughs.)

blogTO: What's your favourite French swear word?

Owen: I don't know, but I can tell you my favourite Quebecois expression; 'Je care pas.' I told that to a friend of mine from Paris and she giggled; I think it's probably going to enter into her lexicon.

blogTO: When you're in Montreal do tell people you're from Toronto, or do you try and change the subject?

Owen: I don't think there's any animosity between Montrealers and Torontonians anymore, though I certainly don't wear a C.N. Tower shirt around town. Maybe I should. Honestly, I think they are two wonderful cities.

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