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Performing Arts History & Criticism

Reimagining Cinema

Film at Expo 67

by (author) Monika Kin Gagnon & Janine Marchessault

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2014
History & Criticism, Film & Video, Media Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2014
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2014
    List Price

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Expo 67, in its utopian aspirations, invited artists to create the world anew. What distinguished Montreal's exhibition from previous world fairs were its dramatic displays of film and media, transformed into urban and futuristic architectures. Reimagining Cinema explores the innovations that film and media artists offered Expo audiences and presents extensive visual material to reconstruct the viewer's experience. At the pinnacle of a new global humanism, cinema was expanded beyond the frame into total environments, multi-screens, multi-image and 360-degree immersion - experiments often seen as a harbinger of the digital age. Taking this expanded cinema as a starting point, the contributors focus on eight screen experiments, and employ innovative methodologies to reveal the intricacies and processes of production, while including factual descriptions, interpretive essays, interviews, and image dossiers. The book reflects how the Expo 67 film-events were encountered as creative experimentations that resonated with broader 1960s arts and culture, and as institutional collaborations with artists. More displays of photographic, cinematic, and telematic technology were experienced at Expo 67 than in any other previous world exposition. Reimagining Cinema captures the complexity and imaginative fervour of this exciting period in film history. Contributors include Seth Feldman (York University), Monika Kin Gagnon, (Concordia University), Anthony Kinik, (Concordia University), Janine Marchessault, (York University), Gary Mediema, Chief Historian and Associate Director, Heritage Toronto (Ontario), Aimée Mitchell, Canadian Filmmaker’s Distribution Centre (Ontario), Johanne Sloan, (Concordia University), Donald Theall (Trent University).

About the authors

Monika Kin Gagnon's writings have been published in numerous books, including topographies: aspects of recent B.C. art, Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis, and A Leap in the Dark, as well as many artist catalogues and magazines. She has a doctorate in philosophy from Simon Fraser University, and a Masters degree from York University. She is an associate professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal.

Monika Kin Gagnon's profile page

Janine Marchessault is a professor in Cinema and Media Arts at York University and holds a York Research Chair in Media Art and Social Engagement. Her research engages with the history of large-screen media (from multiscreen to IMAX to media as architecture and VR); diverse models of public art, festivals, and site-specific curation; 21st century moving-image archives; and notions of collective memory/history.

Janine Marchessault's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Reimagining Cinema is a brilliant example of historical reconstruction that remains theoretically focused throughout. It is not mere nostalgia, but an advance in our understanding of a key moment in Canadian and international cultural history.” Richard Cavell, Department of English, University of British Columbia

"The research team not only created scholarly texts explaining the cultural importance of the films discussed, but published this material in a format that more closely resembles an exhibition catalog than a standard academic publication. The end result i

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