expo 67

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Labyrinth/Labyrinthe (the French title is occasionally used in English language writing about it) was an Expo pavilion produced by the National Film Board of Canada under the direction of Roman Kroitor. It was commissioned as part of the exposition’s theme, Man the Hero and designed around the myth of the minotaur. The Pavilion contained three chambers, the first and third of which were screening venues. In Chamber One, audiences stood in four stacked rows of elliptically shaped balconies to watch a two -screen film. The work was projected on 50 foot (15 meter) screens, one placed horizontally along the floor and the other horizontally at the far end of the chamber. The two sets of 70mm images were screened in a horizontal aspect ratio. The shots in the two separate films were edited so as to provide reflective images of a loosely structured universal life story (e.g. the often reproduced image of a baby on the floor screen with a father looking down at the baby projected onto the wall screen). Between the two chambers, the audience moved through a labyrinth-like passage constructed of two way mirrors through which they could see thousands of small light bulbs. Emerging from that labyrinth, the audience was ushered into a conventional auditorium. In this third chamber they were shown a multi-screen fillm, projected on five screens arranged in a cruciform. The film, co-directed by Kroitor, Colin Low, and Hugh O’Connor and edited by Tom Daly, used a variety of images shot in various global locations (e.g. the African jungle, the GUM department store in Moscow, the funeral of Winston Churchill in London) to elicit the idea of trial and triumph. This second work, under the title Into The Labyrinth, remains an enduring masterpiece of multi-screen cinema. It continues to be available as a single screen film from the National Film Board.
(and from http://basementrug.com/715
"It is a unique blend of film images, architecture, music and sound effects, and each of these is its own attraction. But more than the dazzle of a complex film presentation, of brilliant stereophonic sound, and a of powerful architecture, is the fascination of the theme, for the emotions generated by the whole experience taken together inevitably lead the visitor to a mysterious search – to a journey into himself.")

Polar Life
Directed by Graeme Ferguson, one of the inventors of the IMAX system that would later be showcased at the World Fair at Osaka in 1970, Polar Life can be understood as an experimental precursor to the panoramic spatial complexity created in IMAX films. Located within the sprawling “Man the Explorer” Pavilion on Ile St-Hélène, the novelty of Polar Life was its theatre, wherein the audience was seated on a central rotating turntable in the middle of eleven fixed screens that surrounded them. While the visual film elements have not been found, viewers have described the intricate juxtaposition of the screen images and narration, and the complex relationship created between moving spectators and multiple screens.

Citérama was conceived by the Québec novelist and playwright Jacques Languirand. The film/theatre experiment was part of Man in the Community Pavilion. The physical building designed by Arthur Erickson was built like a pyramid made of wood logs that culminated in a cone shaped roof that was open to the sky, as visitors passed underneath it and they were able to catch a ‘utopian’ vista of the sky 140 feet overhead. Citérama consisted of two concentric platforms stacked, the smaller one rotated faster than the larger one and stopped at intermittent points so that the 200 person audience which surrounded the installation could make connections between the various images. Each platform was divided into 12 stages, and each of the stages were three dimensional settings. 6 of the12 inner stages carried slide screens which were themselves divided in half and each with 350 images for a total 700 rear projected images that were created as a “film fixe.” This was intended as a "collage in motion.”

A Place to Stand
Arguably the most influential film to be produced for Expo ’67, A Place to Stand was the work of Christopher Chapman, who has credits as its producer, director, cinematographer and editor. A Place to Stand made extensive use of multiple screen imagery with up to 15 images at a time visible to viewers. The effect was enhanced by using a variety of mattes that varied the number and configuration of the multiple images. Thanks to this use of multiple images, approximately one and a half hours worth of footage could be seen during the film’s eighteen minute running time.

We Are Young
CPR Cominco Pavilion displayed We Are Young (18 min, 6 screens) by filmmakers Francis Thompson (1908–2003) and Alexander Hammid (1907–2004). Hammid was a Czech avant-garde filmmaker who fled the Nazis in 1939 and joined forces with the American painter/filmmaker Thomson to experiment with large scale film formats.

Canada 67
The film Canada 67 was created for the Telephone Pavilion at Expo 67, which was sponsored by the Telephone Association of Canada. The film was the pavilion’s main attraction and, although it was screened every half hour in a theatre that could hold 1200 people, the wait to get inside sometimes took hours. Directed by Robert Barclay and produced by Walt Disney Productions, Canada 67 was a 22-minute colour soliloquy to Canada. It was shot over a period of nine months in Circle-Vision 360°, a film technique developed by Disney that uses nine synchronized 35mm cameras arranged in a circle. The film is then projected onto nine large screens for a 360-degree surround effect.

The Eighth Day
The Eighth Day (1967) was created for Expo 67’s Christian Pavilion as part of a multimedia installation Charles Gagnon designed for Montreal’s World Exposition. Gagnon used over 300 photographs and 40 speakers to envelop the viewer in images and sounds suggesting everyday life. The Eighth Day was screened repeatedly in a small 100-person cinema in the lower area of the pavilion.

more there, too

DIOPOLYECRAN - Czechoslovakia Pavilion
Dioplyecran was one of the most fascinating audio-visual experience that I had personally ever seen. You entered a large room and sat on the carpeted floor where you watched a wall of 112 cubes whose ever shifting and changing images moved backwards and forwards. Inside each cube were two Kodak Carousel slide projectors which projected still photos onto the front of the cubes. In all there were 15,000 slides in the 11 minute show. Since each cube could slide into three separate positions within a two foot range, they gave the effect of a flat surface turning into a three-dimensional surface and back again. It was completely controlled by 240 miles of memory circuitry which was encoded onto a filmstrip with 756,000 separate instructions.

KINO-AUTOMAT - Czechoslovakia Pavilion
The Kino-Automat film at the Czechoslovakia pavilion was a sociological and psychological experiment with audience participation by just 127 people in an intimate theater. It was developed by cinematographer Raduz Cincera, who reasoned that, just as children like to make Tinkerbell live by applauding during Peter Pan, an adult audience might become involved in a performance with live audiences. Therefore, at five points in the film's plot, the film stopped and the audience was asked to vote on which way Mr. Novak, the hero, should act. Meanwhile, the actor appeared in the theater in person and appealed to the audience to help in solving his problems. Each viewer was asked to either push the red or green button beside him at each decision point. The votes were registered by seat number on a border around the screen, so each viewer could see their own vote counted.

Polyvision presented a panorama of Czech industrial life in an eight minute film that used twenty slide projectors, ten ordinary motion picture screens and five rotating projection screens.

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