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Tuesday, October 29.

7pm: DRACULA (1931) Bela Lugosi.

9pm: FRANKENSTEIN (1931) Boris Karloff.

Reg Hartt’s Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto. Donation $10. 17+.


Brit painter Peter More ( described my Cineforum as the most perfect place on earth in which to see a movie.

As Hallowe’en approaches it is time to bring to the Cineforum screen the two films that started the horror genre.

The thing is that neither of these films were made as horror films. They were made as “A” pictures. Horror was a part of their fabric. It was not, however, the whole cloth. I feel that is why they succeed so well with new generations where other pictures fall by the wayside.

For myself both these pictures took some getting used to. I had read the novels before seeing them. As a result while I liked Lugosi as Dracula and Karloff’s as Frankenstein’s creature it took me quite a long while to appreciate the films in which they starred for their own merits.

That that did happen I am grateful for because now I love the opportunity to see each of these films again, again and again.

Throughout his life Boris Karloff received mail from children who identified with his creature. That says a lot that people prefer to ignore about childhood.

Both this films hit something timeless in their telling.

Years ago in the days before digital when I ran my programs with 16mm film I woke up one Saturday morning with a desire to see DRACULA (1931). As I have seen the picture more times than most people I thought the desire strange. However I did watch it. As I was doing so it suddenly hit me how beautifully the film was photographed. Of course the cameraman on DRACULA was the great Karl Freund who filmed METROPOLIS (1927) for Fritz Lang.

I realized that what had brought that beauty to my attention was the manner in which I was watching it. Peter More stated it perfectly, the Cineforum is the most perfect place on earth in which to see a movie.

A writer in The UofT Varsity wrote, “I have rarely felt a film’s greatness in film class. I often feel it at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum.”

When I put that on a street poster the writer had a conniption fit. He said, “I did not write that to see it plastered all over the city on your flyers!”

I guess what while he studied film at university he learned nothing about movie promotion and advertising. Anyway, for that reason I have not used his name with the quote.

Nonetheless what he said has been said by many others.

Join me Tuesday, October 29 for DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN.

Bring a friend with who to share the night. You can bring your own food and drink. Bring a bottle of wine to toast these two great works.

–Reg Hartt

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