Today's Weather

16 °C | Partly cloudy

Street Spirit

The Lollipop Generation

BY Sarah Liss   April 02, 2008 15:04

It may not have the same reach as Axl Rose’s much-delayed magnum opus, but to a certain demographic, the premiere of G.B. Jones’ movie The Lollipop Generation is as monumental as the hypothetical release of Chinese Democracy. The gorgeously faded feature-­
film debut from the Torontonian punk rock godmother, Fifth Column founder and acclaimed multimedia artist is the stuff of queercore legend.

A decade-and-a-half in the making, The Lollipop Generation — which kicks off the Images Fest April 3, with a 9pm screening at the Joseph Workman Theatre (1001 Queen W.) — is a loose-knit narrative following a cabal of baby-faced hooligans, queer punks and hustlers as they lick suckers, make out and make mischief in seedy alleyways and crash pads across North America. It’s set to an appropriately lo-fi soundtrack — the only rule was that the songs needed to have a lollipop reference thrown in somewhere — where the Hidden Cameras fit comfortably alongside Jones’ pre-Fifth Column project Bunny & the Lakers.

Jones, who painstakingly created The Lollipop Generation one roll at a time (“I’d get a bit of money, buy some film, pay to get it developed and then wait… it cost $50 a shot, which doesn’t sound like much, but I don’t really have extra money,” she laughs ruefully) considers it a document of not just an era, but a kind of subculture that no longer exists, the same sweetly sleazy scene she captured in earlier short films like The Yo-Yo Gang and The Troublemakers.

“That’s what I really like about making the movies I make, especially on Super-8 — they’re totally home movies for me,” she says. “They’re a document of the people I’ve known and met and hung out with — and with this one especially, the cities I’ve been to.”

Because of its protracted production time, The Lollipop Generation pulls off the neat trick of creating a bridge between generations. In Jones’ film, contemporary T.O.-bred nancy boys like Paul P and Scott Treleaven hang out by the same seamy geographical landmarks — the Metro Porn Theatre and Fillmore’s, to name a couple — as early-‘90s scoundrels like Jena Von Brucker and Mark Ewart; sometimes they even appear in scenes with their old-school counterparts.

“You’d think there’d be more of a disjunction between the two generations,” marvels Jones. “One of the first scenes I ever filmed was with [performance artist] Vaginal Davis in LA. Well, then Vaginal moved to Berlin, and Joel Gibb was already living there, and they became really good friends. All these people who didn’t know each other 10 years ago are suddenly hanging out.”
And though her peers may be horrified by the encroachment of YouTube into independent film and art, Jones, who started making this film before most of us had even heard of email, has a different opinion.

“I think it’s amazing. Just think about kids in remote places who now have the chance to be exposed to alternative culture. All of this is developing culture in a way where it’s no longer founded on geographical locations or regionalism; it’s based on interests or other aesthetic factors. It undermines that sense of nationalism and that political agenda — or I guess it’s not political per se, more like politicians’ agendas.”

Email us at: LETTERS@EYEWEEKLY.COM or send your questions to EYEWEEKLY.COM
625 Church St, 6th Floor, Toronto M4Y 2G1

User Comments

Be the first to comment
Film Finder

Event Charts

Related Stories

Musical youth
As I walk past the cheery mural that greets visitors to the St. Alban’s Boys & Girls Club, I feel like I’ve gone back to school.

Good sporty
Of all the Spice Girls, I’ve always had a fondness for Mel C. She wasn’t my original favourite, but awkward Sporty, with her crooked smile and galumphing tomboy energy, gradually won me over.

You are not alone
Until she was usurped by, er, edgier divas like Paula Abdul, Tiffany was my first encounter with true fandom.


Copyright 1991 - 2007 EYE WEEKLY Newspapers Limited. All Rights Reserved. Distribution transmission,
Republication of any materials is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of EYE WEEKLY.
EYE WEEKLY is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.