Blast from the past: Fest of Fests '83

I have lots of tasks ahead of me as I prepare for Midnight Madness, but I took a break to flip through an old programme book for the 1983 Festival of Festivals (as we were then called). Thought I'd share this ad that will strike a nostalgic chord with Toronto residents.

In 1983, the first edition of Midnight Madness was still a full five years away, but there was still lots for fans of genre and offbeat cinema to see including The Best of Nightflight, MTV Basement Tapes, a Don Letts retrospective at the Bam Boo Club on Queen Street, a David Cronenberg retrospective, and a 33 film series called Science Fiction Revisited with a broad range of films selected by Croneberg that included Duel, Vampyr, La Jetee, Peeping Tom, The Devils, War of the Worlds, The Bed Sitting Room, Dr. Strangelove, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Mad Love, Private Parts, The Golem, Taxi Driver (Cronenberg writes, "a better Blader Runner than Blade Runner. New York is a nightmare L.A./Tokyo of the future. De Niro is a sleepless alien who does a poor job as passing himself off as an earthling. He can't really figure out human sexuality but he wants to get involved anyway. It doesn't work."), Satyricon, Forbidden Planet, Alphaville, Freaks, This Island Earth, Lord of the Flies, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Hour of the Wolf, M, On The Beach, Don't Look Now and more.

For the mainstream crowd, there were screenings of The Big Chill, Educating Rita, The Moon In The Gutter by Jean-Jacques Beineix, Heart Like A Wheel, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Luc Besson's Le Dernier Combat, Paul Verhoeven's The Fouth Man, and the rap/graffiti documentary Wild Style.

And of course, on the back cover of the guide, an ad for Labatt's Blue Light – in a stubby bottle, naturally!

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