From: Keith Sanborn (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 01 2007 - 06:57:07 PST
Forwarded with John's Permission.
>Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 05:33:13 -0800 (PST)
>From: john porter <email suppressed>
>Subject: John's First Report from Europe!
>To: john porter <email suppressed>
>JOHN'S FIRST REPORT FROM EUROPE - February 1st
>Friends & Family,
>My first week on tour was the most hectic, with 4 days of traveling,
>and 3 screenings in 2 cities.
>The trains are so efficient, and always passing wonderful
>"upper-class hobo" (my phrase) villages all along the tracks, with
>miniature, one-room bungalows with porches, picture windows,
>vegetable gardens, beautiful landscaping, surveyed paths, and no
>cars! Perfect for a bicycle. They must be gov't sanctioned! That's
>where I want to live!
>Generally, my transportation, accomodation, venues, projectors and
>projectionists have been excellent.
>I was in and out of Dresden in 36 hours, so I saw nothing, and I was
>just lucky to find time to grab a group photo of my hosts
>("schmalfilmtage" Festival) and a super 8 shot of the venue
>exterior. They provided my train from Amsterdam (where I flew
>into) and return, an apartment in the venue 2 nights, and an
>artist's fee of 150 Euros ($200?) cash, half of which I was glad
>to give back to Germany by buying a subscription to it's Small Film
>Format Magazine. It's Editor attended my screening, so I just gave
>him cash and my address.
>My 2 screenings at the Rotterdam Film Festival were beyond my
>expectations! Not just highly-attended by animated audiences (some
>people came to BOTH of my identical shows!), and technically smooth,
>but little did I know how big and prestigious the festival is! My
>screenings were attended by many established filmmakers, programmers
>and writers, some of whom I'd heard of, met on-line in the last
>year, or met in person many years ago, including some old friends
>who I haven't seen in a long time. I was told that more well-known
>people were attending the festival this year than ever before, so I
>was very lucky. I got requests to do other shows in the future,
>including Sao Paola, Brazil and a return to Europe.
>Also, I was asked to quickly write an article (with my photos)
>before I left Toronto, which was published in Holland's independent
>film magazine (<http://www.filmkrant.nl/>www.filmkrant.nl) for the
>festival. Then I was invited as a guest, and to show a film
>accompanied by the live band, on a popular, festival talk-show in a
>No fees for me, but the festival provided my return flight from
>Toronto, and 4 nights in a boat (barge) hotel! And new-found fans
>were buying me drinks and food! I couldn't spend any money on
>anything! My host Erwin van 't Hart even insisted that I use his
>cell-phone when I called my mother on her 91st birthday Jan. 29,
>after my 2nd show.
>I didn't have time to see much other work or Rotterdam because I was
>"shmoozing" so much (talking myself hoarse), and I was also out
>shooting super 8. All the shorts programmes were at the same venue,
>with a great cafe/bar, so I hung-out there the whole time, avoiding
>the huge Film Market part of the festival. My favourite show was
>Slovenian, psychedelic, super 8 and 16mm multiple projections from
>the 1970s, and the old guy presenting it was a real character like
>me. He had seen my show and kept referring to and pointing to me
>during his talk!
>My only disappointment with the continent was all the cigarette
>smoking everywhere. Even the legal marijuana or hash at the Sky High
>Coffee Shop around the corner was only available mixed with tobacco,
>which I can't smoke. I bought a splif anyway, just for the experince.
>Now I'm in London (flew from Amsterdam in 45 minutes), with the
>first free time to write this report. I walked to Trafalger Square
>to shoot super 8 of Canada House because Jim Anderson & I showed
>there in 1982. I also saw the London Eye (big wheel) up close,
>but tourist sites are always boring to me, compared to meeting film
>people and checking out their organizations. I'll continue
>re-tracing my 1981/82 steps to shoot super 8 - next location, the
>ex-London Filmmakers Co-op in Camden Town.
>Last night we attended a 16mm group-screening & discussion in a
>gallery, by 3 young women beginners who did a residency at no.w.here
>lab (<http://www.nowhere-lab.org/>http://www.nowhere-lab.org/) which
>inherited all of the Co-op's amazing production equipment, including
>3 optical printers and a processing machine. We're going to
>check-out their space today. One of the 3 women I'll see again in
>Amsterdam when we both show in Erwin's "Starting From Scratch"
>My hosts here in London are Steven Ball (who I once sent 3 of my
>films to in Australia in the 1980s) and his wife Ooni. UK is very
>expensive and I get no travel expenses or fee in London, so to
>compensate they're letting me sleep on their couch for a whole week.
>(I'm finally getting to spend some money.) My first night, we went
>to their local pub for a veggie & cheese pie dinner with
>extra-strong ciders and a fascinating, 5-hour discussion of many
>My screening here is on Sunday afternoon (). I'm competing with a
>huge event by well-known USA 16mm filmmaker Robert Beavers in
>discussion with famous film writer P. Adams Sitney at the Tate
>But I'm not worried. Even the respected organizer of that event said
>he would recommend my show after he saw it in Rotterdam. And I'm at
>the top of Canada House's "Arts News" page
>including Edie Steiner's photo of me, so I'll get ex-patriot
>Canadians not interested in Robert Beavers, not to mention super 8
>people, some of whom are coming from out-of-town for my show.
>This trip is almost all business (the way I like it) but it'll be
>mostly pleasure visiting my nephew Anthony in Dublin Feb. 7-11. But
>I will be meeting some experimental filmmakers there. That will
>probably be where I'll send my next report from.
>John Porter, Toronto, Canada
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