A man inherits his estranged father’s prized possession — a derelict porno theatre — in Kire Paputts’ second feature, about gentrification and finding love and compassion in unlikely places.

Contemporary World Cinema

The Last Porno Show

Kire Paputts

Kire Paputts' The Last Porno Show — a welcome follow-up to his debut, the 2015 TIFF hit The Rainbow Kid — introduces us to Wayne (Nathaniel Chadwick), a struggling actor who was traumatized as a child while living with his father Al (Christian Aldo), whom he hasn't seen in years. Now a bit of an emotional mess, Wayne is seriously uninterested when a lawyer tells him Al has died and left him his proudest possession: the decaying porn cinema they used to live above. Initially Wayne wants to sell it but he's also pursuing a part in a movie, and realizes his memories of Al and their life together may help with the role. But, as someone tells Wayne, "That's the thing about memories; they get weird" — and soon Wayne's part and his painful past threaten to consume him.

Outrageous and funny, raunchy and raw, The Last Porno Show is also a tortured, heartfelt exploration of loss. The trauma isn't just Wayne's, but the city's as well. Like much gentrification, the loss of the cinema (and the apartments above it) threatens to wreak havoc on its small, rundown neighbourhood.

Packed with very specific Toronto references (local filmmaker Frank D'Angelo turns up to teach Wayne method acting "his fuckin' way," and the porn theatre seems patterned after The Eve on Bloor), The Last Porno Show conjures the city, pre–condo craze. At times, it's like a rewardingly weird merger of I Love a Man in a Uniform and Drying Up the Streets. It's also a reminder that love and compassion can happen in the unlikeliest and seediest places.

STEVE GRAVESTOCK

Screenings

Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 6

Press
3:30pm
Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 3

Regular
9:00pm
Thu Sep 12

Scotiabank 7

Press
11:45am
Thu Sep 12

Jackman Hall (AGO)

Regular
9:00pm
Fri Sep 13

Scotiabank 3

Regular
3:30pm