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Lager Lecture - Hamilton Babylon

In the 1960s, McMaster University was host to a wild and unlikely flourishing of modern art and philosophy. A small group of visionary students established the McMaster Film Board (MFB), a unique extracurricular student filmmaking group under the leadership of avant-garde filmmaker John Hofsess and future frat-comedy innovator Ivan Reitman. The MFB was a milestone in the development of Canada’s commercial and experimental film communities and advanced the cause of independent, underground, and personal filmmaking.

Inspired by the example of American independent filmmaking, the MFB made films that reflected the turbulence of the sixties, reflecting both the technological and spiritual themes of the Canadian imagination, as well as the radical theories of sex and love that were taking root in the era’s intellectual culture.

Join McMaster Alumni as Stephen Broomer, a Canadian filmmaker, scholar and film preservationist, discusses his book Hamilton Babylon and shows a few samples of the MFB films he has restored. Hamilton Babylon traces the history of the MFB from its birth as an organization for producing and exhibiting avant-garde films, through its transformation into a commercial-industrial enterprise, and into its final decline as a show business management style suppressed many of its voices.

An interview with Stephen and TIFF: The McMaster Film Board's Indelible influence on Hollywood North.