Category: 1. Schedule

Film School At The Cineforum Music & Film # 1: Bernard Herrmann.

jason-and-the-argonauts 51dirjt5ddlFor some time now I have thought of offering people interested in music for motion pictures the opportunity to listen to a film soundtrack before watching the film the better to understand how the music was actually used in the picture.

Monday, October 3,

7pm: JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS   The soundtrack followed by the film. As strings had not been invented in the time period of this film Bernard Herrmann decided to create a score without them.

The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst below College Across From The Beer Store. 416-603-6643. A program like this at a college, university or film school could cost $100 or more. Donation $20 ($10 under 24)

Bonus 6pm: BERNARD HERRMANN. For those unfamiliar  with Bernard Herrmann this documentary will more than fill you in.

CD Review by Dan Goldwasser

One of my favorite fantasy films as a child was definitely Jason and the Argonauts. It got me interested in Greek mythology, and while that phase eventually passed, I still have a lasting affinity for the film. With Ray Harryhausen’s classic stop-motion animation, and exciting story, the film also featured orchestral underscore by Hitchcock regular Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann had previously worked on The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad andMysterious Island for producer Charles Schneer, and in writing this score, decided to get rid of all of the strings, and beef up the other instruments. The result was a powerful and dramatic score that still holds up today as an excellent example of film music.

Unfortunately, the score to Jason and the Argonauts was edited a bit in the final film, and with a mono mix combined with dialogue and sound effects, much of Herrmann’s complex orchestration and arrangement fell through the cracks. However, Intrada took it upon them, with the help of Bruce Broughton conducting the Sinfonia of London, to re-record this score as Herrmann intended. The ensuing album is a must-have item in any serious Herrmann enthusiast’s collection.

The thunderous fanfare in “Jason Prelude”, with roaring brass and timpani, contains three main themes that will be reoccurring throughout the score. It’s fantastic, and leads into the diametrically opposite “The Prophecy / The Battle” which begins out as quiet and brooding as they come. Reminiscent of Citizen Kane, the cue slowly builds into a battle sequence filled with percussion and an alternating “tug of war” between horns and bassoons. “The Feast” contains a more “period” type of dance cue, and “The Oak Grove / Ascension” features a harp solo which slowly grows into a heroic brass fanfare.


In “Departure” we hear the main theme once more, followed by a very calm – but slightly ominous “Hera’s Effigy”. “Argo” starts out with the optimistic heroic fanfare, but then slows down into a dark foreboding motif. The action in “Talos / The Boat / The Wreck” serves as a great example of why Harryhausen was the master of his craft. The pounding timpani and brass in this scene are exciting and tense. With the exception of “Hera Speaks”, the Talos attack (including the next track, “The Attack / Talos’ Heel / Talos’ Death”) runs nearly eight minutes long, and allows Herrmann an opportunity to really let the brass give their all.


“The Nets / The Rope / The Cage” is another tense action cue, while “Medea’s Ship” is in party rhythmically similar to the main title Herrmann wrote to North by Northwest. In “Medea”, we finally get a romantic theme out of the action and drama. Warm woodwinds and a French horn play out this soft and romantic cue. After a few more fight sequences (“Acastus and Jason Fight”, “The Hydra / The Hydra Fight”) we reach the pinnacle moment in the film. The teeth of the Hydra become skeletons, and in a signature Harryhousen moment, Jason and his crew battle a stop-motion skeleton attack. “Hydra’s Teeth / Skeletons / Attack” begins with low brooding rendition of the “Dies Irae”, and as the skeletons emerge, woodblocks and castanets are used effectively to “rattle” the bones. This climactic battle takes form in “Scherzo Macabre”, which is one of the more challenging and exciting cues. During the next three minutes the orchestra (literally) goes wild! With instruments seemingly bouncing back and forth with complex maneuvers, the music stopping and then starting again, and all the while building in power and intensity.


This is, quite simply, an excellent album. Broughton and the Sinfonia have done an excellent job in interpreting Herrmann’s score, and the sound quality is spot on perfect. With a running time of a tad over an hour, this is a hearty album that never gets boring. In fact, it is noted in the (mildly extensive) liner notes that very short or repetitive cues weren’t recorded for the album, which is something I wish would happen more often when re-recording film scores! Available exclusively from their website (, I strongly urge you to pick this album up. It will be worth it.

As a young man I was encouraged to become a writer. I saw the movies as the medium in our time print had been in the 19th century. Today, in the 21st century both print and the movies no longer interest the public. That is because the people working in both media are creating works that fail to capture an audience.

I set out to give myself the best possible education in the art, business and history of the motion picture covering all aspects of the medium from its origins until now (including porn). Along the way many others have benefited. Here are some of the ads used to promote JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. Enjoy them.

If you do not live in Toronto I have provided a link to the film’s soundtrack. You can listen to it and then watch the film. In his books TRUE AND FALSE and BAMBI VS. GODZILLA David Mamet states, “Invent nothing. Deny nothing. Stand up. Speak up. Stay out of school.” I’m with Mamet. I want only bad students. What are bad students? Henri Langlois of the Paris Cinematheque: “An art form requires genius. People of genius are always troublemakers, meaning they start from scratch, demolish accepted norms and rebuild a new world. The problem with cinema today is the dearth of troublemakers. There’s not a rabble-rouser in sight. There was still one, but he went beyond troublemaker to court jester. He clobbered the status quo. That’s Godard. We’re fresh out of “bad students.” You’ll find students masquerading as bad ones, but you won’t find the real article, because a genuine bad student upends everything.”–Reg Hartt,jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-belgian jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-french-grande jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-half-sheet jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-insert jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-lobby-card-set-of-8 jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-one-sheet jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-pressbook jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-three-sheet jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-title-lobby-card-and-lobby-cards jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963 jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1980-first-release-spanish-one-sheet jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-r-1978-half-sheet jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-r-1978-poster jason-and-the-argonauts-columbia-1963-window-card-14-x-22-f ray-harryhausen-lot-various-1990s-promotional-poster

October 2016 The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto.

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The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto (across from The Beer Store). 416-603-6643.

Saturday, September 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

05pm: Reg Hartt Spoken Word: JANE JACOBS: URBAN WISDOM (2004) Don Alexander.




Sunday, September 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.


5:00 pm: Film: T. S. Eliot, MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL (1952) with the voice of Eliot as the 4th Tempter.

7:30 pm: KID DRACULA [NOSFERATU (1922) set to music from Radiohead’s KID A and OK COMPUTER]

Monday, September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.


Tuesday, September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25.

07:00 pm: Reg Hartt Spoken Word: D. W. Griffith and THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

Wednesday, September 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26.

07:00 pm: Reg Hartt Spoken Word: The Night They Raided Rochdale College.


September At The Cineforum, Toronto

Saturday, September 3, 10, 17, 24,

5pm: JANE JACOBS: URBAN WISDOM (2004) Don Alexander.  I would think that with my work here listed at the top of the world’s number one travel guide, THE LONELY PLANET, as one of the best places to see in Ontario and in Toronto that city officials would be doing what they could to help. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I want a Jane Jacobs’ Toronto. What is that? It is a city that adapts to its people instead of squashing them. Come to this program to see what Toronto can and should be. .

7pm: THE SALVADOR DALI FILM FEST Salvador Dali, with Luis Bunuel, so outraged the world with his first two films the pictures were banned world wide. In Europe we launch our career with a scandal. In Canada when a scandal erupts most artists cry. I don’t. Said Dali (and Picasso), “It is good taste not bad taste which is the enemy.” Yes, it is.

9pm: THE SEX & VIOLENCE CARTOON FEST The silly people cut everything from the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Animation they thought might offend anyone. Many of the best are banned. This is your chance to see them as we are meant to. You will be amazed how much we missed as kids.

Sunday, September 4, 18, 25.

3pm: BARRIE SCHWORTZ: THE SHROUD OF TURIN   THE SHROUD OF TURIN is the most important religious and scientific artifact we have. Barrie Schwortz was raised as an Orthodox Jew. He has not become a Christian nor a Jew For Jesus nor a Messianic Jew as a result of his work on The Shroud. Nor should he. Says Barrie, “The man on The Shroud is Jesus.” Access the Science Of The Shroud here:      . Come to this presentation to hear why, after 19 years of doubt, Barrie knew the man on the Shroud is Jesus.

5pm: BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST (1925) Fred Niblo. In the current version of BEN-HUR the chariot race is CGI. For the 1959 version geldings (castrated stallions) were used. In 1925 prize Arabian stallions were used for Ben-Hur . This is BEN-HUR with balls.

9pm: KID DRACULA [NOSFERATU (1922) to music from Radiohead’s KID A and OK COMPUTER]

Sunday, September 11

2pm: FORD FEST SCARBOROUGH (2014) A Film By Reg Hartt.

THE CINEFORUM August, 2016.


The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto. 416-603-6643.


Tuesday, August 30, ANIMAFEASTIVAL: A Feast Of  A Festival Of Animation

5pm: HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN (1941) Max Fleischer.

7pm: UPA ANIMATION FEST (1945-1955) Mr. MaGoo, Gerald McBoingBoing & more.

9pm: BOOGIE 3D (2009) Gustavo Cova.


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If you would like a copy of THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED ROCHDALE COLLEGE send a donation of $100 to Reg Hartt, 463 Bathurst, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 2S9 and I will send you one. It will help me fight my battle against the City of Toronto's War On Fun.

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See LE PATIN LIBRE in an outlaw performance at The Cineforum.

LE PATIN LIBRE, An Outlaw Performance In Toronto (2012) Filmed by Reg Hartt with the Sony 3D Bloggie Camera (

9pm, Saturday, July 9, THE CINEFORUM, 463 Bathurst below College across from The Beer Store. 416-603-6643.

In 2012 LE PATIN LIBRE performed at Harbourfront. This revolutionary company which weds figure skating with dance, was born at THE CINEFORUM in Toronto. Most think all I do here is show movies. The movies are but the tip of what happens here.

Old ideas sometimes are found in new buildings. New ideas use old buildings.”–Jane Jacobs.

I met Jane Jacobs in 1968 when she and her family first arrived in Toronto. She was a regular at my screenings until her health prevented her from going out. While many objected to my introducing my programs for Mrs. Jacobs they were the principal attraction. Over a beer in her home she said to me, “The best part of what you offer is what you have to say.”

She is not alone in valuing what I bring to the table. Many others have also. One of those is Alexandre Hamel, the founder of LE PATIN LIBRE, who arrived at The Cineforum while touring with DISNEY ON ICE in 2004.

In this presentation Alex talks about coming to The Cineforum and how it changed his life for the better.

THE CINEFORUM incorporates ideas that go back to THE I CHING, Plato’s Academy in Athens, first and second century Christianity, the Paris Salon of Gertrude Stein, the original Paris Cinematheque of Henri Langlois and Claude Chabrol, the various factories of Andy Warhol, The Beats and The Beat Hotel, Toronto’s infamous Rochdale College (of which I was privileged to be a part) and the ideas of Jane Jacobs as expressed in her books from her first, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES through to her last, DARK AGE AHEAD.

During a visit to Montreal where I stayed at Alex’s place I got wildly drunk with him and other Cineforum alumni (Simon Lulling, Jeff Klassen, Jamie Ross). I woke up with a wicked hangover out of a dream in which I was giving my talks before the films from the screen in 3D. “That would be cool,” I said to myself. I promptly bought my first 3D camera and every book I could find on the history of 3D photography and 3D film making. Then I acquired every 3D movie I could going right back to the dawn of 3D. THE CINEFORUM now has one of the largest (if not the largest) archives of 3D Motion pictures in the world.

“An art form requires genius. People of genius are always troublemakers, meaning they start from scratch, demolish accepted norms and rebuild a new world. The problem with cinema today is the dearth of troublemakers. There’s not a rabble-rouser in sight. There was still one, but he went beyond troublemaker to court jester. He clobbered the status quo. That’s Godard. We’re fresh out of “bad students.” You’ll find students masquerading as bad ones, but you won’t find the real article, because a genuine bad student upends everything.”—Henri Langlois.

“One must save everything and buy everything. Never assume you know what’s of value.”—Henri Langlois.

“There are cinéphiles and cinéphages. Truffaut is a cinéphile. A cinéphage – a film nerd – sits in the front row and writes down the credits. But if you ask him whether it’s good, he’ll say something sharp. But that’s not the point of movies: to love cinema is to love life, to really look at this window on the universe. It’s incompatible with note-taking!”—Henri Langlois.

“It is good taste not bad taste which is the enemy.”–Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Reg Hartt.

“Whatever the world condemns in you keep it. It is yourself.”–Jean Cocteau.

Luckily, thanks to my reputation as Canada’s most loved and hated film figure The Cineforum attracts mainly bad students. Thanks to that it is a hotbed of genius.

Here are some screenshots of LE PATIN LIBRE’s Outlaw Performance. 3D, as anyone who has seen Herzog’s PINA knows, gives a gravitas to dance on film that 2D simply can not provide. The bodies of the dancers move not in a flat landscape but in a solid one. I can feel as well as see their work. Where 2D gives only the shadow of life 3D gives the living presence.

3D Film making has a language all its own. It must be discovered as language is discovered, in practice. THE I CHING teaches that if learning and doing are not wed then the result is sterility. We have only to look at the fruits of our education system to know this is true as John Taylor Gatto has illustrated in his excellent THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION  ,  ,  , , .

THE CINEFORUM has been called the most dangerous place on earth. It is. Rochdale College was infamous for the use of drugs. People went there to use hashish, LSD, marijuana, mushrooms, peyote, and more. Rochdale was 18 floors. The higher up we went, the higher we got. I was attracted to Rochdale not because of the drugs (altho I certainly took advantage of the opportunity and am grateful I did) I came to Rochdale attracted by the Rochdale idea of each Rochdalian as their own teacher. As a result there are no teachers at The Cineforum for at The Cineforum you are called to become your own teacher. Are you up to that challenge? –Reg Hartt 7/5/2016.Le Patin Libre 2012 (1) Le Patin Libre 2012 (2) Le Patin Libre 2012 (3) Le Patin Libre 2012 (4) Le Patin Libre 2012 (5) Le Patin Libre 2012 (6) Le Patin Libre 2012 (7) Le Patin Libre 2012 (8) Le Patin Libre 2012 (9) Le Patin Libre 2012 (10) Le Patin Libre 2012 (11) Le Patin Libre 2012 (12) Le Patin Libre 2012 (13) Le Patin Libre 2012 (14) Le Patin Libre 2012 (15) Le Patin Libre 2012 (16) Le Patin Libre 2012 (17) Le Patin Libre 2012 (18) Le Patin Libre 2012 (19) Le Patin Libre 2012 (20) Le Patin Libre 2012 (21) Le Patin Libre 2012 (22) Le Patin Libre 2012 (23) Le Patin Libre 2012 (24) Le Patin Libre 2012 (25) Le Patin Libre 2012 (26) Le Patin Libre 2012 (27) Le Patin Libre 2012 (28) Le Patin Libre 2012 (29) Le Patin Libre 2012 (30) Le Patin Libre 2012 (31) Le Patin Libre 2012 (32)

Jane Jacobs at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum: Time To End The City Of Toronto’s War On Fun

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, July 9, 10, 11; 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25.

JANE JACOBS: URBAN WISDOM (2004) Don Alexander.

The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst Across From The Beer Store. 416-603-6643.

There is only one place on earth created entirely from the ideas of Jane Jacobs. That one place is Reg Hartt's Cineforum.

There is only one place on earth created entirely from the ideas of Jane Jacobs. That one place is Reg Hartt’s Cineforum in Toronto. What most makes it everything Jane Jacobs wrote about is that it has constantly been under attack by a city that refuses to recognize its value (just as they refuse to do with all of us).

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The figure skating company, LE PATIN LIBRE, was born at The Cineforum.

Here is their recent performance as part of THE GUELPH DANCE FESTIVAL. I filmed it in 3D. Use red and blue glasses to get the 3D Effect. “Old ideas are sometimes found in new buildings. New ideas are found by necessity in old buildings.”–Jane Jacobs.

In this video Alexandre Hamel describes how seeing street posters put up by Reg Hartt when he was touring with DISNEY ON ICE brought him to THE CINEFORUM which changed his life for the better:

Newspaper pieces on the City’s most recent attempts to shut down Reg Hartt’s Cineforum:

The person behind the many complaints against THE CINEFORUM and Reg Hartt is James Gillis. He showed copies of the many letters he has written to lawyer Richard Zemla. Why is he determined to shut down The Cineforum? Gillis runs a street postering business under the name Dr. Jamie’s Events. He also sells used bikes under the name Dr. Jamie’s Used Bikes but that name has become so discredited his most recent flyers are completely anonymous and give locations which are not the address of his store.

Gillis has put up posters targeting former employees as Police Informants so that he can get out of paying them the money he owes them. He has put up thousands of posters attacking Reg Hartt. Read about it here:

“REG HARTT is what living in a metropolis is all about. He personifies the city as a meeting place of ideas, as a feast of experience and discussion and debate, as a triumph of the original and provoking over the banal and soporific.”—Globe and Mail

What has this to do with Jane Jacobs?

Jane Jacobs was about a lot more than walks which is something the people who organize walks in her name would do well to remember. When The Cineforum was first shut down in 1993 Jane Jacobs told Reg Hartt to call then Chief Planner of Toronto Paul Bedford and to have him call her back for confirmation. Mr. Bedford said, “Damn those idiots! I can’t bother her. Just start up.”

Question that might be asked: How can you know Jane Jacobs cared about Reg Hartt? We have only his word that she did.

Answer: Not many people received fan letters from Jane Jacobs. Reg Hartt received several. Two of them are displayed here. “Our mother loved you,” the children of Jane Jacobs have repeatedly told Reg Hartt. In 1979 Jane Jacobs spoke about the value of Reg Hartt to the City of Toronto at an event Hartt sponsored with animation artist Robert (Bob) Clampett: Here is the audio of that talk:

Question: If THE CINEFORUM is not a public art gallery, what is it?

Answer: City Inspector Elliott deBarros said the city has a tough time deciding what it is and the closest it could come is Public Art Gallery. He also agreed with Mr. Hartt that The Cineforum operates within City of Toronto Bylaws. He said that if Mr. Hartt were to send in application for a Project Review Request the city would approve it almost instantly and The Cineforum would be protected from future threats. Elliott deBarros acknowledged that James Gillis was/is behind the complaints while adding that a second person, probably at the behest of Gillis, has filed complaints. Mr. deBarros now denies saying The Cineforum was/is within City of Toronto Bylaws.

There doesn’t seem to be much creativity at the top. It seems to me that Toronto has a split personality, a civic schizophrenia. On one level there is the spirit of individuals and small groups who do things…what you might call the vernacular spirit. This is all very informal, ingenious, quite romantic and full of fun, a great deal of fun. It seems to me that the official spirit of Toronto is stamp out fun. It’s pompous, impressed with mediocrity if its very, very big and expensive,”–Jane Jacobs–hXw8       .

This is an going problem and it affects the city as a whole: “They didn’t offer any facts,” says Pol Cristo-Williams, owner of Sweaty Betty’s, a bar at Queen and Ossington that had its hip credentials buffed when Drew Barrymore ditched her own film fest party to hang there. “There are no facts. I don’t know why they’re calling it a study – all they’re doing is copying the College Street by-laws, and College Street is a mess, it’s a dying neighbourhood. After they prove that they’ve screwed up College Street, they’re going to screw up Queen West and Ossington.”  .

Question: “You have no really defined The Cineforum. What is it?”

Answer: The Cineforum is pretty much indefinable. The word “Cine” means “Film.” A “Forum” is a place where ideas can be discussed. So in that sense THE CINEFORUM is a place where ideas about film can be discussed. Cinema, itself, embraces all of the arts so ideas about all of the arts can be discussed there. As well, the ideas inherent in the films being presented are themselves open to discussion.

The Cineforum is located in the living room of my home. The word “Salon” is French for “living room.” In Europe there is a long history of people using their living rooms, their salons, as a regular meeting of writers, artists, etc., at someone’s home (  ).

Question: What would you like the future of The Cineforum to be?

Answer: I would like THE CINEFORUM to be a living memorial to the ideas of Jane Jacobs. While I feel it is highly unlikely given what Jane Jacobs herself describes as “the pompous mediocrity” at the top I would like Toronto to become the first truly Jane Jacobs city in the world. A Jane Jacobs city is a city that adapts to its people instead of forcing its people to adapt to it. Forcing its people to adapt to it leads, as she has clearly shown, to the death of cities. Toronto is a dying city.

THE CINEFORUM is a living testament to her statement “New ideas are found in old buildings.” Alexandre Hamel with his figure skating company LE PATIN LIBRE is globally revolutionizing figure skating with completely new ideas. He is one of the many who have found a new direction because they came to THE CINEFORUM. I would like to see the city purchase the property from my landlord and then give it to The Cineforum Community in perpetuity as a place where new ideas can be found.

“Before transforming into a travelling troubadour he worked in the film industry, which eventually led him to the Cineforum, the legendary Toronto theatre run out of the film archivist Reg Hartt’s living room, and where Petunia lived and worked for a time. “The first time I saw him talk, I was sold,” Petunia said of Hartt. “We’ve been friends ever since. I learned everything I know about the business of being an artist from Reg. And believe it or not, I learned how to walk a little more gracefully from knowing him.”

“My biggest musical influences? Sheila Gostick, whom most people will never really get to hear, see or know. Same can be said for Reg Hartt, almost the polar opposite of Sheila Gostick. Even though Reg is known for being a movie guy. These two people are living icons in Toronto. Reg’s place is within a few houses of Bathurst and College, look for the lapis lazuli blue and gold paint job. People from all over the world go there while so many people in Toronto are afraid to.”  .

“Q: What and/or whom inspired you to become a performer, and how old were you? A: Hard to say what inspired me and all the whoms. Sheila Gostick schooled me in all manners and customs when I was 26. Reg Hartt got me back from the system while I was still young enough to care and think. Though, if I were a better ball player I wouldn’t be a professional musician seeing as I love to play ball. If you’re curious about Reg & Sheila, look them up, they are famous underground characters with huge personalities and drive.”    .

Question: What are your qualifications?

Answer: My qualifications are exactly equal to those of Jane Jacobs.

Question: Do you expect to get support from the organizers of Jane Jacobs walks, etc..

Answer: No.

Question: Then why do you approach them?

Answer: So that afterwards they can’t say, “Why didn’t you call us? We would have helped.” Jane Jacobs helped without being asked. The best always do. These people are like the Pharisee and the Scribe in Jesus’ parable of The Good Samaritan. They wear the robes. They talk the talk. But when the call to act comes they walk on by. It is important to remember that the Samaritan was viewed as beneath contempt, as unclean.

Question: Then who do you expect to help you?

Answer: I don’t need help. I run THE CINEFORUM within City of Toronto Bylaws. We are not allowed under the Bylaws to invite strangers into our homes. Admission to my program is limited to my friends. If someone wants to be a friend of mine all they have to do is come by and say, “Hello.” In New Brunswick where I lived as a kid and in Sault Ste. Marie where I lived before coming to Toronto I was told that Toronto is a cold city. I said that I would warm it up. I have. In a Jane Jacobs city there are no strangers. There are friends we are about to meet. I am creating a Jane Jacobs city by standing up for ideas.

Question: What would you like the City of Toronto to do?

Answer: First I would like the City to enforce its street poster bylaws which are eminently fair. James “Dr. Jamie” Gillis, in the operation of his street poster business, routinely ignores them.  Secondly, I would like to Gillis brought to account for his telephone death threats on myself and others. These date back to 2010 and are on the public record. Thirdly, I would like to see that family that is being told to tear down its treehouse told, “Hey, it’s cool. Kids love treehouses.” Fourthly, I want Toronto to become a Jane Jacobs City. Do that and we set an example for the world. That would really be the most fitting memorial to her.

Question: What can we do?

Answer: First, come to The Cineforum. Secondly, talk to your Councillor. Tell them we want a Jane Jacobs City. We want a City that adapts to us. The price, should they fail to listen, will be the death of Toronto.

Question: Do you need funding?

Answer: This will come as a surprise to many but Jane Jacobs was very much against government support and very much for self reliance. I long ago turned my back on government funding. Do I need funding? Of course I do. I prefer the funding to come from those who value my work. One of the things I have noticed about many of those who receive government salaries and government funding is that they seem to think their feces smells like roses while viewing the rest of us as common. Mrs. Jacobs told me this attitude has a long history. My own research confirms that.

Question: Why do you continue to fight this fight?

Answer: Because every week some new person walks in who finds what Alex and Petunia found. They find a new direction for their life.

Question: Do you think you will win?

Answer: Do you think Jane Jacobs knew she would win when she went up against Robert Moses in New York and against the Spadina Expressway in Toronto? Of course she did not know that. What she knew was that if she did not fight then the city she loved and the city in which she had made her new home would be destroyed. I know that Toronto has destroyed a great many things it should not have in the past. I know that it must stop doing that now.

Question: What are some of the other things the city has desroyed?

Answer: Here are some of the many:

Loss of Gerrard Street Village

Death of Yorkville

Bohemian Embassy Coffee House

Ossington Street

Jane Jacobs: End Toronto’s  War On Fun:

Let us end it now. Come to The Cineforum. Become my friend.–Reg Hartt, 7/4/2016.

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How Reg Hartt is Celebrating 100 Years Of Jane Jacobs 3: Al Aronowitz.

I know what Jane Jacobs would do. I know what Denise Pinto, Max Alen and the rest of the vultures feasting off the corpse of the fallen hero would do. What did they do. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Jane would kick the assof the fucker behind this so far he could not come back. Ed Keena didn't. He won't. I will. That is part of what I'm doing to celebrate 100 years of Jane Jacobs.

I know what Jane Jacobs would do. I know what Denise Pinto, Max Allen and the rest of the vultures feasting off the corpse of the fallen hero would do. What did they do. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Jane would kick the ass of the fucker behind this so far he could not come back. Ed Keenan didn’t. He won’t. I will. That is part of what I’m doing to celebrate 100 years of Jane Jacobs.

The+Beatles+Live+At+Shea+Stadium+-+Metal+R+409515 imagesAl Aronowitz at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum in Toronto. Who is Reg Hartt? He’s a friend of Al’s. They met in 1981. Reg read about Al in THE SOHO news. He wrote him a letter. Al wrote back. Reg wrote back. Al called. He called again. One day Al said, “I’ve written a book. No one will give me readings. I need to do readings.” Reg said, “Come to Toronto.”

Reg told a friend that he had a major figure coming who liked his pot. “If I give you my TV set can you keep him happy?” asked Reg.

He could.

Al arrived in Toronto. Reg Had him do a reading. Gary Topp came out. Sheila Gostick came.

One day Reg said to Al, “Come with me.”

Al went.

Reg knocked on a door on Albany Street.

“Jane,” he said, “I have a fellow here I think you would like to meet.”

Jane was thrilled.

So was Al.

Who was Al Aronowitz?

Al was the shaping force of American popular music in his day. In the 1950s he was just a crime reporter. Pissed off because his son was hanging out with some fags in New York’s Greenwich Village who were flashing switch blade knives, smoking pot and spouting poetry, Al’s editor sent him down to write a hatchet piece (

Only Al didn’t.

You see Al Aronowitz was something exceedingly rare. He was a man of integrity.

Said Al later, “I walked in and realized I was in the presence of living poets.”

So instead of writing a hatchet piece Al wrote the first positive press about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

People today have little idea how much The Beats were hated by the conventional (which always hates anything that ain’t).

One day Al went to do his laundry. He saw a lazy eyed good lookin’ kid and said to him, “Come with me.”

The kid went.

He didn’t ask questions. He just went.

Al took the kid to meet Allen Ginsberg. He said to Al, “Meet Bobby.”

Allen took one look at Bobby and said, “Come with me.”

No one knows where they went, what they did but knowing Allen is not too hard to guess that he gave Bobby a real good time.

‘Cause when Bobby came back he was Dylan.

On another daqy Al said to Bobby, “Come with me.”

Bobby went.

They arrived at a hotel. They walked in to a room where Al was to interview four lads who had said that the only journalist in America they would talk to was Al.

Al pulled out a joint.

The lads had never smoked pot.

Al said, “You boys are musicians and you have never smoked pot? What the fuck kind of musicians are you?”

The boys said, “Have you heard our music?”

Al said, “Yeah. I listened to it. That shit’s for high school girls. You guys won’t last long. New generation of high school girls and you’ll be swept away.”

The four lads liked his brute honesty. They knew that was true.

“Can we have some?” they asked.

Al said, “Put a towel under the door. Open the window.”

They did.

Then when they were done THE BEATLES walked out on to the stage at Shea Stadium.

Their music was transformed.

Al said to them, “Bobby’s fucking genius. You guys needed to meet. That’s why I brought him.”

Dylan met THE BEATLES. THE BEATLES met Dylan.

In that meeting the course of art, music, live, everything was changed. Changed for the better.

That was Al. Everything he touched became changed for the better.

Al did not know but while a bunch of old Jews was praying for The Messiah the Messiah was smoking pot and walking the streets of New York introducing one artist after another to one artist after another.

How can I say pot smoking Al was The Messiah? Well, the Messiah brings life. Al brought life to a huge number of people.

Then Al’s wife died of cancer. Her death broke his heart and left him broke. He was faced with a wife he could not afford to bury but had to. A lot of dreams died with his wife.

The phone rang. On the other end was a voice which rightly did not much care for white folk.

That voice had felt the full nastiness of good white folk, well meaning white folk, citizen’s committee white folk.

Nope, he just didn’t like white folk and, frankly, while I am white, thank God I’m what most white folk think of as white trash.

But that voice loved Al. Didn’t matter to him that Al was white. He loved him.

“You need help?” said the voice.

“No, I’m fine,” said Al.

“I know something you need help with,” said the voice.

The voice belonged to Myles Davis.

Al’s wife got buried.

That was Al. He was a man so despised by all the right people the best people could not help but fall in love with him.

I fell in love with Al.

One day I got the idea to sponsor Russian Poetry Nights.

Not nights of Russian poetry but nights of poetry in the Russian manner.

People were to get blind staggering drunk, roar out their poems and not ask after, “Did you like it?”

If you don’t know it is good without having to be told than you ain’t ready to be a poet.

For three months it went great.

Then a little lady from down the street asked, “Can I come?”

After three weeks she said to all the “poets,” “You fellows are all getting drunk and shouting at Reg’s place and he is the worst. Come down to my place. It will be better.”

I can’t fault boys for yielding to the power of the pussy, even old boys.

That ended the Russian Poetry Nights.

Al called. He said, “Reg, I want to come to Toronto.”

The great thing about using my home as a salon is that first I don’t have to ask permission and, secondly, I can do anything.

I called THE TORONTO PRESS CLUB. They said, “Wow! That man is a legend!”

Then I called one of the few newspapermen in Canada who is a newspaperman. He had a book coming out titled, “Toronto: Accidental City.”

I said, “If I poster Toronto for your book will you do me the favour of welcoming Al Aronowitz to Toronto?”

He said, “Love to.”

A few weeks later I said, “Al, meet Robert Fulford.”

Said Fulford after, “That man is a poet. Thank you for introducing me to him.”

You see Robert Fulford is not Ed Keenan. Not that I don’t like Ed. Ed’s okay. But Ed’s a boy. Fulford is not only a man but THE man.

At THE TORONTO PRESS CLUB I all my ex-Russian poets showed up with the polite lady who had snipped off their balls.

The next three nights were at THE CINEFORUM.

They were three fucking wonderful nights.

The folk who lived with me at the time baked cookies ’cause Al liked his pot best that way. We went further out than we had ever gone. Some never came back.

Al met some amazing people in Toronto with whom he stayed in touch.

Time passed.

Again Al called. He said, “Reg, your place is my favorite place on earth. I want to do a reading there again.”

I said, “Come on up.”

Al didn’t come.

He died

August 1, 2005.

I gave a reading in his memory.

I give one every summer.

I won’t this summer.


‘Cause the same folks who told Andy Warhol to move his ass from time to time are tellin’ me to move mine.


‘Cause it’s illegal to invite the public into our homes in Toronto.

As Thoreau put it, “Every idiot can make a law and every idiot will keep it.”

I’m not complaining.

Messiah’s are born to be crucified by those who work for the government.

You see, they have jobs to do.

If the job says to throw Jews and fags and gypsies into ovens, well, they do their job.

Can’t fault them for that.

In Tibet monks lavish time creating mandelas. When they are completed they exist for a few days. Then they are swept away.

I created The Cineforum as a mandela. It is shortly to be swept away.

Come take a look at it.

On August 2, 2016 the day will be devoted to the life and words of Al Aronowitz.

Some of the poets who found their Muse hear will be invited to share their work.

I will speak for Al.

And to The City Inspector who said he’d bust my ass if I did not adjust to the city I say, “Bust my ass.”

The essence of Jane Jacobs expressed in her landmark book THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES is simple: Cities must adapt to people. People must not adapt to cities.

Ed Keenan doesn’t understand this.

Jane Jacobs did.

Al Aronowitz did.

Robert Fulford does.

Lawrence Solomon does.

The late Rob Ford, God bless him, did.

Reg Hartt does.

Most teachers say you should go to school to get your degree to have something to fall back on. Aside from being a huge lie, that also creates a very high level of mediocrity, because nobody who really believes that is going to take the leap of faith required to be a serious artist. Stay out of school.“–Ellis Marsalis to his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Wynton.

A writer named Will Sloan wrote a piece about the final chapter of THE CINEFORUM. He whines because I said in a flyer promoting him that he was a good writer and hot. He didn’t like the hot part. Poor Will. If Al or I had taken him to meet Allen Ginsberg he sure as fuck would not have disappeared for a few months. He would have whined, “Why did you introduce me to that fag?’ Can’t blame will. He’s the product of a system designed to produce mediocrity. You can read his piece here:

You can read about Al Aronowitz here: , , .

If you want, you can read about me here: .


At Reg Hartt’s home, 463 Bathurst Street,Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 2S9.

Jane Jacobs knew that when a law is stupid you stand up to it.

I do, too.

I created THE CINEFORUM not as a business but as a work of art. As a result many artists have found their Muse here. I am the first person in the world to do that. The City Of Toronto has decided my wonderful work of art must be swept away. Come see it before it vanishes forever. Al Aronowitz will be here in spirit. So will Jane Jacobs, Judith Merril, my beautiful Mark Mitchell and many others. I look forward to meeting you. I look forward to hearing the Words of The Messiah, Al Aronowitz.–Reg Hartt 6/18/2016.

He got it right. Al was not one of those who watched and did nothing. Al Aronowitz was a Messiah. Messiah's act.

He got it right. Al was not one of those who watched and did nothing. Al Aronowitz was a Messiah. Messiah’s act.

Margaret Meade, "Never underestimate the power of one person to change the world for the better. All too often that is all that does it."

Margaret Meade, “Never underestimate the power of one person to change the world for the better. All too often that is all that does it.”

Best place to take a date

Judith Merril, the mother of modern Speculative (Science) Fiction, was a friend and supporter of Reg Hartt. Judy did not lightly give her support. Here she is at THE SALVADOR DALI DINNER prepared by Mark Sleep at THE CINEFORUM.

Judith Merril, the mother of modern Speculative (Science) Fiction, was a friend and supporter of Reg Hartt. Judy did not lightly give her support. Here she is at THE SALVADOR DALI DINNER prepared by Mark Sleep at THE CINEFORUM.

I introduced Al Aronowitz to Judith Merril. I met Judy in 1968. We were more than friends. She was one of my mothers. She caused me to be reborn.

I introduced Al Aronowitz to Judith Merril. I met Judy in 1968. We were more than friends. She was one of my mothers. She caused me to be reborn.

At The Ouimetoscope Theatre in Montreal I went out in front of a packed house. I said, "Hi, I am Reg Hartt

At The Ouimetoscope Theatre in Montreal I went out in front of a packed house. I said, “Hi, I am Reg Hartt

A hatchet piece about my RUSSIAN POETRY NIGHTS. This poor girl was not cut from the same cloth as Al Aronowitz.

A hatchet piece about my RUSSIAN POETRY NIGHTS. This poor girl was not cut from the same cloth as Al Aronowitz.

Beatles Shea Stadium Concert Poster

Beatles Shea Stadium Concert Poster

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The End Of The Cineforum (1968–2016)

This morning, after much serious reflection, I have decided to bring the curtain down on The Cineforum.

It has been a good run. During it I have met a huge number of terrific people. I have also found myself with a great many friends.

Closing down the program was not an easy decision. Ending a process that brought so many wonderful people into my life is not an easy thing. It means ending the process by which I will meet even more interesting people.

As you know if you have been following these posts I have for nearly twenty years been engaged in a very weary, soul devouring battle.

When, in The Ramsden Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada defended STREET POSTERING as FREEDOM OF SPEECH for those without access to mainstream media it was because a band in Peterborough, Ontario fought that city all the way to the top court in the country.

Today we’d be lucky to see a poster for a band on the streets of the city. When they do appear they are covered over or torn down by people who put up posters for hire for the people who do advertise in mainstream media.

When the City of Toronto came up with its Street Poster Bylaws I found them extremely well thought out. I was happy to keep them.

The problem is that the city talks the talk but does not walk the walk. The people who put up posters commercially routinely ignore the City Bylaws. City inspectors say they don’t have the time or money to enforce them (though, it seems to me that with a fine of $490.00 per violation if they did enforce the laws they would have the money).

Over the years I have been engaged in this battle with the city’s chief commercial poster business I have seen my work as well as the legitimate posters put up by others routinely destroyed. Often I find our flyers torn up into bits of confetti and placed in clumps behind over size posters placed there by his service.

As well I have found myself pilloried from utility pole to utility pole and kiosk to kiosk by flyers warning people that I am a sexual monster preying on their children. One ex-employee of the man wrote that he could not believe he was doing that. He added that when he worked for the man he saw him repeatedly supply a fourteen year old girl with crack cocaine after which he committed statutory rape on her. Wow! I would think the folks who say they care a great deal about this sort of thing would get upset enough to do something. I found out they do not get upset. From another ex-employee of the man who had himself been smeared by him in a poster campaign which said he was a police informant and was designed to get him killed by street crack heads I found out that the 14 year old girl was the niece of a police officer in 14 Division. Well, how hard should she be to find? The cops closed the case saying they had no leads.


Then a friend found a copy of a report filed against me with the police by this man. He had dropped a copy on the street. It was passed on to me. I called the police. They said, “You can’t have that. Read from it.” After I read from it they said, “You have it.”

I went in, spoke with them (against the advice of a lawyer) and they said, “What a shit!”

That was way more than I expected. I had gotten used to officials not giving a shit.

Daily when I go out with flyers for my programs I find them destroyed. I also find slanderous posters attacking me everywhere.

It got so I was spending six to seven hours every morning putting up paper that was being destroyed that day.

This week I found myself more physically drained and exhausted than I have ever been.

It’s clear the City is not going to stand up for the rights the Supreme Court stood up for.

It’s also clear I am wearing myself out.

Sunday I turned 70.

I decided to give myself a present.

I’m taking a rest.

My friend Jane Jacobs titled her last book DARK AGE AHEAD.

She died in 2006. Her book should be re-issued as DARK AGE NOW.

Get ready as it is going to get worse.

In the meantime drop by and say hello. It will be good to see you.

The whole world is going straight to Hell.

Let’s get drunk and enjoy the fire.–Reg Hartt 6/15/2016.

For Mad Folk Only…Reg Hartt, GILGAMESH & PIERRE DALTON

GILGAMESHPierre DaltonTHE I CHING teaches inferior men try to create order out of chaos while superior men recognize the order inherent IN what appears to be chaos. Jane Jacobs recognized this: “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.”

Young man with a tattoo of Arthur Rimbaud. If you don't know who he is and think yourself a poet you are not.

Young man with a tattoo of Arthur Rimbaud. If you don’t know who he is and think yourself a poet you are not.

In 1980 Alexander Inglis, whom I met at my programs, gave me a copy of the Sumerian EPIC OF GILGAMESH. On May 23, 1981 the body of my brother Michael was found dead in a baseball park. He had killed himself. After his funeral my family thinking I was going to kill myself (I had no intention of it) stuck me against my will in McMaster Psychiatric Hospital where, forced to take the drugs they gave me I found myself becoming a zombie. I was told it would take from six months to six years for the effects of the medication had been given to wear off. When I found by accident I could leave I walked out. I had no money. Most of the people I had thought friends I found were not. The years passed. In 1992 I was invited to Montreal to perform at Café Campus for three days. The promoter told me capacity was 300 sitting and 300 standing. That is a total of 600. “We are sold out!” he said the first night. “How many?” I asked. He said, “300.” I said, “There’s way more than 300 here.” He said, “330.” The next night he said, “We’re sold out!” I asked, “How many?” He said, “Same as last night.” I don’t mind being lied to. I just don’t like being badly lied to. The next morning I caught the train back to Toronto. I tore up the money. I did not ask for a dime. During the time I was in Montreal I kept seeing a very intense young man.

That night in Toronto I had a program of films by Jean Cocteau. My friend Simon Waegemaekers, creator of THE MUSEUM FOR TEXTILES, was going to run it. I told him I had come back adding there was no need for him to come. He said, “I was looking forward to it. Why don’t I take care of them coming in. You take care of them leaving.” I saw none of the people who entered. I did see them leave. To my surprise one of the people leaving was the doppelganger of the fellow I had seen in Montreal. I invited him to have a beer. He said, “I’d like to live with you.” He brought in a number of books on and by poets. Reading one of them I found GILGAMESH flashing by my eyes. I wrote it down.

For some years now that man has been living in Ireland. This year he has been touring with is music. He was invited to stay in the country home of Arthur Rimbaud. Fuck man, it does not get better than that!

There are many who say I’m crazy. They right. I’m fucking nuts. Too bad they are not. A long time ago Plato wrote, “He who without the Muse’s madness in his soul comes knocking at the door of poesy and thinks that art will make him anything fit to be called a poet, finds that the poetry which he indites in his sober senses is beaten hollow by the poetry of madmen.”

I got the Muse’s madness in my soul. I surrendered to it long ago as one does to a lover.

Once I had printed GILGAMESH I gave copies to friends.

Said Al Aronowitz, The Blacklisted Journalist who had introduced Bob Dylan (whom he met in a laundromat) to Allen Ginsberg and The Beatles, “It made me tingle.”

Said John Herbert, who wrote the only play by a Canadian the whole world saluted, “It’s magical. Very, very powerful.”

Said Thomson Highway, whose brother Rene had lived with me, “It’s remarkable.”

Said Jane Jacobs, “It’s amazing. I really liked it!”

Said Judith Merril, “It’s a page turner.”

Said PALLOKAVILLE’s SETH, “Wow! This is great. Much better than any other version I have read.”\

Said John Robert Columbo, “I did not know you are a poet. I did not think free verse suited to the epic form. When I started it, I did not think I would like it but you pulled it off. The sexual scenes are suitably barbaric. It is written with great power. You have travelled the hero’s journey to the dark side of existence. You have  returned the naked flesh to the bare bones of the epic. It is better than anything by the half dozen people who regularly win prizes for poetry in this country.”

When I began giving readings of GILGAMESH in 1992 one man stayed after while everyone else left. He said, “People can learn here.”

I replied, “Some do. Most do not. What do you do?”

He said, “I am an archaeologist, an Egyptologist and a Sumerologist. You are a Crazy-Wisdom-Yogin.”

I said, “I hear crazy often enough. What does the rest of that mean?”

He replied, “It is the highest compliment I, as a Buddhist, can pay. It means you are living absolutely the life you are teaching.”

I replied, “I would not say that. I know how far below the mark I fall. Would you care for a beer?”

He did. We drank until near dawn. It turned out he had accompanied The Dalai Lama on his first journey across Canada.

Yep, I’m crazy. Too bad for those of you who are not.

In June that young poet who fired my Muse will be in Toronto at THE PUBLIC ENEMY/THE CINEFORUM. His name is Pierre Dalton.

He will also be, for Mothers and those of you afraid to come here at THE FREE TIMES CAFÉ.

Mad folk only, thank you very much.–Reg Hartt 04/26/2016.


I met the Bishop on the road And much said he and I.
“Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon run dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul pigsty.”

“Fair and foul and near of kin,
And fair needs foul,” I cried,
“My friends are gone, but that’s the truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart’s pride.

“A woman can be proud and stiff
when on love intent;
But love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not first been rent!”

William Butler Yeats.

The time of the harvest

Now is the time of the harvest.

Crazy Horse, the Great Native American Seer, went up into the Black Hills on his Vision Quest.

We live in a time that mocks the idea of a Vision Quest.

That does not make it one whit less spiritually essential.

“It’s a good day to die,” he said when he came down from the mountain.

“The world is a ball,” said the Plainsman to whom on the ground everything looks flat. He added, “In a short time there will be terrible fires all over it. Men will be brutal to women everywhere. In the end God is coming to judge the world.”

I am not talking about a Fundamentalist Evangelical so-called “Born Again Christian” here.

Every day is a good day to die.

Today there are terrible fires all over this ball we live on. In the name of what people say they believe we see brutality towards women everywhere.

Is this something to be alarmed about?


It means the moment of the harvest is here.

“As it was in the days of Noah before the flood so it shall be at the time of the coming of the son of man,” said Jesus.

From the account the days of Noah before the flood was a time of evil rampant upon the earth.

Evil is rampant upon the earth.

The waters of our lakes, streams, rivers and oceans is poisoned.

The waters of the rivers of our bodies is poisoned.

Who poisoned them?

We did.

Not, perhaps, you and I but certainly humanity has done this.

In his poem THE OCEAN Alfred Gordon Lord Byron thought it beyond possibility the vast oceans of the world could be poisoned the way in his day the continent of Europe had been poisoned.

In our day what Byron could not imagine has been done.

Is this a cause for alarm?


It is a sign of the time.

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.

People said that when I was a kid.

So much has been forgotten in such little time it is astonishing. Jane Jacobs speaks of this in her last book, DARK AGE AHEAD. She was not a fundamentalist “Born Again” Christian either. She was a woman who used her eyes and ears as so few use our eyes and ears. Mostly writers use the eyes and ears of others because they are too lazy to do the legwork. Then they fashion what they receive into what they choose to see.

In THE I CHING I read in 1968, “The Superior Man lives sparingly in times of plenty. Thus he prepares for times of want.”

The Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared.” It is a good motto.

JANE JACOBS AT THE CINEFORUM, 5pm Sunday, March 13, 20, 27, The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst Below College. 416-603-6643. Donation $20.00.`3