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Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers, hear on the radio or see on TV.

 

https://thetattooedbuddha.com/2015/09/25/what-is-crazy-wisdom/

https://www.kqed.org/arts/102557/crazy_wisdom_and_the_madness_of_enlightenment

https://hazlitt.net/longreads/crazy-wisdom-love-story

Divine madness, also known as theia mania and crazy wisdom, refers to unconventional, outrageous, unexpected, or unpredictable behavior linked to religious or spiritual pursuits. Examples of divine madness can be found in Hellenism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, and Shamanism.

It is usually explained as a manifestation of enlightened behavior by persons who have transcended societal norms, or as a means of spiritual practice or teaching among mendicants and teachers. These behaviors may seem to be symptoms of mental illness to mainstream society, but are a form of religious ecstasy, or deliberate “strategic, purposeful activity,”[1] “by highly self-aware individuals making strategic use of the theme of madness in the construction of their public personas”.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_madness

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

There is not just one helluva movie in the story of Rochdale College. There are three of them.

There is, however, not one film maker in Canada who can make a proper movie out of that story.

Three things are required for a box office hit.

Those three things are sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Rochdale College opened its doors in Toronto in September of 1968 as the boldest experiment before or after in education.

I knew nothing about Rochdale when I first heard of it from some people who came to my program in 1968 from there.

I did know about someone they spoke of who was there.

That someone was Judith Merril: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/17/arts/judith-merril-74-science-fiction-editor-and-writer.html

I knew her from her anthologies of THE YEAR’S BEST SF.

I went over to Rochdale to meet here.

Judy explained to me there were no teachers at Rochdale.

Each person there was to be her/his own teacher.

What there was were what was called “Resource People.”

These were people invited to live at Rochdale rent free, all costs covered on condition they make themselves available to speak with any Rochdalian who wished to speak with them.

Judy was at Rochdale as a resource person.

Judith Merril was the mother of modern SF (Science Fiction to most, Speculative Fiction to Judy).

J. G. Ballard called Judith Merril “the strongest woman in a genre for the most part created by timid and weak men.”

JUDITH MERRIL ‘the strongest woman in science fiction’

Rochdale College was murdered by yellow journalism.

The Government of Canada chose to allow at Rochdale the use of hashish, LSD, marijuana, mescaline and peyote.

Rochdale was 18 floors straight up. The higher up we went, the higher we got.

Rochdale was the highway to Heaven.

I had to go to Hollywood to learn how important Rochdale was.

Ironically, I learned it from two police officers.

In Ron Mann‘s film DREAMTOWER (1994) one of Rochdale’s failures, Paul Evitts, speaks: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dreamtower , 

In that film Evitts states, “There was no education at Rochdale.”

Evitts failed to become his own teacher.

Reg Hartt is one of Rochdale College’s many successes.

There are three epic films in the Rochdale Story.

Reg Hartt is the man to speak with.

Reg Hartt served as Rochdale College’s Director of Cinema Studies.

Altered Spaces, From Education to Art: A History of Film Culture at Rochdale College

 

“I honestly believe Reg Hartt is the greatest teacher I know for only he teaches the evil of teaching. Well, not only he. For confirmation of everything he has been saying all along read David Mamet’s book TRUE AND FALSE.”—Emo Philips

“Reg Hartt has had an amazing impact given the size of the venue and the esoteric nature of the programming. He’s had an incredible impact on the city. No one else is doing it. No one else has ever done it.”–Rob Salem.

“Reg Hartt had an incredible impact on the city. No one else is doing it. No one else has ever done it.”–Rob Salem.

“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.”—Michael Valpy, THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“Reg Hartt has a feel for film unique in this country…genius level.”—Elwy Yost.

“Reg Hartt teaches like Neal Cassady drove a bus.”—Joe Fiorito. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/09/15/fiorito_we_gotta_have_hartt.html

“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.”—Michael Valpy, THE GLOBE & MAIL

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford recently came to the rescue of Reg Hartt, an individual who had run afoul of the law. Hartt’s violation? As explained by city authorities, he was illicitly running “a place of assembly.” Hartt’s actual crime? He is a non-conformist in a city that makes just about all commercial activities illegal, including those in the home, unless some city bureaucrat says otherwise.

Hartt has been a credit to Toronto for decades. His Cineforum, which screens noteworthy films for small study groups in his living room, has long won acclaim from critics in Canada and abroad and endorsements from Canadian icons such as author Pierre Berton and urban guru Jane Jacobs.  Lonely Planet lists 463 Bathurst St, his modest abode on a major Toronto thoroughfare, as among the top 30 sights to see in Toronto and in the top 30 of sights to see in Ontario. That’s quite a credit to the city. Yet although neighbours don’t complain, the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department periodically shuts him down.

Lawrence Solomon: Jane Jacobs rules as Ford strikes a blow for film freedom | National Post

A city that sees value in rules, but no value in letting Reg Hartt bend them, has no right to claim Jane Jacobs’ legacy, writes Edward Keenan.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/06/27/cineforum-deserves-a-happy-ending-to-its-saga-keenan.html

The city should drop its misguided fight against Reg Hartt…
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/06/28/the-city-should-leave-cineforum-alone-editorial.html

“I am a friend of Reg Hartt.
“So is anyone who can appreciate a man who teaches the way Neal Cassady drove a bus.
“I mean that, where you have style wrapped around content and tied with a ribbon of beat improvisation, there you have angels.
“Harvey Pekar was an angel.
“And I’ve never met anyone with wings who did not have an ego. Nor is this an easy town for a man who is larger than life, and does not care to suffer fools.
“You might like to know that the friends of Reg Hartt included the non-fool-suffering Jane Jacobs, who knew a thing or two about what, and who, makes life worth living in the city; that’s good enough for me. His philosophy as a teacher of film? “My programs are designed for people without money.” Yeah, but how does he earn enough to pay the rent? “The Lord said, ‘I will take care of you.’ The I Ching says the same thing.” A long time since I met anyone who throws those bones.

The city will do what it will.

And you will permit me an observation: if Martin Sheen can come to town and stand on the picket line with striking hotel workers, why won’t our senior cineastes stand up for Reg Hartt, as the city moves to strike him down?
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/09/15/fiorito_we_gotta_have_hartt.html

https://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?p=33438

Paul McGrath, THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Some audience members were visibly distressed by the frequency and force of Hartt’s interjections into the program but it is clearly his chosen way of doing things, and the payoff in information is worth it. He has many good stories to tell: about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’s transformation into Mickey Mouse, Disney’s most enduring character; about the furor that greeted the creation of Tweety Pie, which subsided only when the artists painted him yellow; and much valuable technical information for the animation students. He has some interesting tales about Mel Blanc, Warners’ resident genius of voice characterization, as he continues the series with a full scale look at the Warner work of Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and others. It’s the best work of its kind you will see anywhere because, except in rare oases in the United States and Eastern-Europe, they don’t make them like that anymore.

JULIA SCUTARU, retired journalist, Bucharest, Romania: “In Toronto, I discovered by chance, Cineforum. Pure chance but a fortunate one. In that small room exhaling culture, passion and dedication, I watched the movie TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, an important historical, political and social document., and real artistic achievement….As a journalist (in Romania) I worked in the cultural field, including film reviews. Therefore I came to the Cineforum not just as a movie lover, but as a knowledgeable professional…We live in an era authoritatively dominated by brainwashing and political correctness…I admired Reg Hartt’s courage and passion put in searching out and defending the human truth, the artistic truth, the historical truth; the Truth and unveiling it…Discovering Reg Hartt and his Cineforum was one of the most important events of my visit in Toronto.”

DAVID BEARD, owner CINEBOOKS, quoted in THE TORONTO STAR, Nov. l, l979
“This man has devoted his whole life to bringing the film classics to the public. He treats animation-cartoons, if you will-as art. He is underfinanced, overworked and snubbed. I think we should pay tribute to him.

GREG WILLIAMS, MA (Ph, D. Candidate), President, University College Film Society, and Chairman of the Subcommittee for film, U. C. Symposium: I wish we had more time to chat together last night about our respective (and mutual) interests in film.
‘Cineforum’ has attained the status of an institution; it represents an achievement of which you should rightly feel proud.

“I can only hope the ‘University College Film Society’ will someday approximate its success and that I will, personally, match your inspired delivery as a master of ceremonies.

“As a newcomer to the business of arranging film programs, so far I am your equal perhaps only in enthusiasm. Thus I find your presentations to be not only exceptional in their content but also edifying in their execution. As an academic (in the field of English) I am also impressed by the high scholarly standard that pervades your informed and witty introductions,

“I frequently wonder if you have ever considered writing a history…some very good books have been written…but no text has dealt with it in a definitive way. A marshaling of your knowledge would, I am certain, produce a very fine volume indeed.”

DOUGLAS ELIUK, education officer NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA, formerly Canada’s Cultural Attache to America. “(REG) Hartt is acknowledged as a phenomenon in the film community. He is someone who does not rely on government grants, subsidies or institutional protection to generate his film activities. He depends entirely on his intelligence, talent and resourcefulness. His events are produced with care and good sense, in a clean and friendly atmosphere and with an almost avuncular consideration for his fans, As a film officer for the National Film Board of Canada for 30 years, I have seldom seen anyone who added so much substance and passion to the cultural fabric of our society as he has done with his lectures and presentations.”

From a letter to Ottawa’s Towne Cinema;
“Last week I finally got a chance to see a film I have been trying to see for literally years. That film is METROPOLIS, and I don’t mean Giorgio Moroder’s head-banger version. No, I’m talking about the most complete version of the film as it was meant to be seen in a l6mm print so clear, so clean you’d think the film was made a year ago. Wow. I mean I have been hearing stories about METROPOLIS for a long time, but I never thought my expectations would be met let alone far
surpassed. And this without the “help” of Mr. Moroder. Does this mean there wasn’t a soundtrack?

“Far from it. Accompanying the film was a brilliant (and I mean brilliant) soundtrack combining both modern music and classical pieces. This soundtrack suited the film when we all know Moroder’s didn’t. So who has this print of the film? Reg Hartt….If you know anything about Reg Hartt you know his lectures are anything but boring. He’s thrown chairs at people, kicked non-believers out, slandered near everyone under the sun (who usually deserves it) and started near riots. In other words, a real entertaining guy. Honestly. Reg is a lot of fun, he knows more about film (and the politics of film) than all of my teachers combined. And his soundtracks!”

DOUGLAS ELIUK, education officer National Film Board of Canada; Canadian Cultural Attache to America: “I have left so many cinemas looking like I’ve been smelling onions for two hours that it is a pleasure and a catharsis to alert you to a redeeming film experience I enjoyed recently. It was not exactly an epiphany, but when something brilliant comes along, it deserves comment beyond self congratulations on managing to stay awake.

“What I’m referring to is a recent screening of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS I attended at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum. I’ve seen the film with every sort of accompaniment except organ grinder and a monkey. When organ and even the now rare orchestral accompaniments have been attached to one of the “silent” classics, it is still hard to avoid the giggle factor what with all the usual silent movie grand overwrought gestural school of acting methods. However, Reg Hartt has completely transcended the predictable approach and has presented a classic film with a brilliant multi-layered sound track that forgives the histrionic giggle factor. Hartt allows us to see a great film with a fresh perspective.

“I am not Mr. Hartt’s P. R. council but as someone who has been in the film industry for decades and who celebrates cinematic excellence,I hope you will take the opportunity to experience this superb revitalization of METROPOLIS with its innovative music track.”

PETER MOORE, British Artist.

“I am a Brit artist. I love Toronto. I have sometimes heard it said that Toronto is boring. It is a comparatively well ordered city. Maybe that is why some imperceptive people think it boring. The thing is I keep having amazing successes in Toronto. My friend Bob Welton who decided he was much happier in Warsaw than in London used to say in London everything is possible and nothing is probable. I just find in Toronto not everything is possible but lots of things, important things, are quite probable. Does this make sense?

“ANYWAY, a wonderful surprise in Toronto is Reg Hartt’s Cineforum. I was walking down Bloor Street with my friend Alan, a composer, a Torontonian who, searching for fulfillment in London, has realized that everything he wanted existed in his original home, Toronto. It was my birthday. He said, “What do you want to do for your birthday?” I said, “I want to go and see that!”

“I was pointing at a mysterious poster for TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, (the film of Hitler’s l934 Nuremberg rally). I’d always wanted to see that.

“So we went and I found myself in the most perfect place on earth to watch a film. With the film was an unexpected treat….a brilliant, unbiased, sensible and stimulating introduction by the amazing Reg Hartt.

“So once again, in German mode, we went to see Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS. Reg had somehow spliced on to the film his own soundtrack. Now this was interesting because a while later we went to the Art Gallery of Ontatio where the same film was shown-much bigger screen-and with piano accompaniment. It was interesting to compare the two showings. Reg’s came out winning.”

http://www.artisgallery.eu/pm/

 

So, yes, there are a few folk who don’t like me.

David Mamet, in his books TRUE AND FALSE and BAMBI VS. GODZILLA, states, “Invent nothing. Deny nothing. Stand up. Speak up. Stay out of school.”

 

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