I Want A Dream Tower To Call My Own
Tonight, the Toronto Public Space Committee‘s Streets to Screens series wraps up with a screening of Ron Mann‘s Rochdale College doc Dream Tower:
“Rochdale College was one of the most controversial experiments ever to have taken place in Canada. Set up as a combined free university and student residence, the eighteen-storey building at the southeastern corner of Bloor & Huron Streets in downtown Toronto opened in the fall of 1968 – at the height of the hippie boom.
“What was intended to be a radical educational institution rapidly became a meeting place for North America’s burgeoning drug culture. With artists and educators jousting for position with motorcycle gangs and dealers in the same high-rise, Rochdale became a focal point for the best and worst dreams of the Canadian generation of baby boomers.”
The fact that Mann, reknowned for his films about countercultural icons (Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Woody Harrelson) and movements (underground comics, pot legalization), in 1994 made for the NFB a movie about Rochdale stands as something of a revelation, so tonight’s rare public screening is not to be missed.
The forty-seven minute film gets going at the Toronto Free Gallery (660 Queen St. East, two blocks west of Broadview) at 7:30 tonight, and is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $3.
UPDATE: The classic NFB documentary Flowers on a One-way Street, directed by the late great Robin Spry, has just been added to the programme and will screen immediately following Dream Tower. Flowers follows the battle with Toronto City Hall that occurred in the late 1960s when young activists attempted to have Yorkville Avenue turned into a pedestrian-only street.
Photo of the former Rochdale College building at 341 Bloor St. West, now the Senator David A. Croll Apartments, by mechrisman on Flickr.