In the Labyrinth

In the Labyrinth


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A film without commentary in which multiple images, sometimes complementary, sometimes contrasting, draw the viewer through the different stages of a labyrinth. The tone of the film moves from great joy to wrenching sorrow; from stark simplicity to ceremonial pomp. It is life as it is lived by the people of the world, each one, as the film suggests, in a personal labyrinth.

In the Labyrinth was first released as a multi-screen presentation for Chamber III of the Labyrinth at Expo 67. These separate images were integrated into a single strand of film, using a "five-on-one" cinematic technique.

"Scenes for this giant-screen production were shot all over the world with five cameras running simultaneously on a cross-shaped mount. They were then projected on five separate screens in a similar cruciform arrangement. The technique required faultless synchronization among the cameras, the editing equipment and the projectors. The results promised to be spectacular: viewers would have never seen anything like it. More than a million people experienced the film In the Labyrinth / Dans le labyrinthe, shown in two parts in chambers I and III of the huge five-story pavilion (also called The Labyrinth) in Cité du Havre, near the main Expo site. While the other themed pavilions of the Man and His World portion of the fair showed the various means by which humanity had tamed its environment, The Labyrinth offered an interior voyage through which audiences discovered humanity’s conquest of itself." - A. Ohayon

Albert Ohayon
From the playlist: Expo 67: 50+ Years Later

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In the Labyrinth, Roman Kroitor, Colin Low & Hugh O'Connor, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    Roman Kroitor
    Colin Low
    Hugh O'Connor
  • producer
    Tom Daly
    Roman Kroitor
  • executive producer
    Desmond Dew
  • camera
    Michel Thomas-d'Hoste
    Walter Lassally
    Gilles Gascon
    Georges Dufaux
    V.V. Dombrovsky
    Alex O. Krasnov
  • sound
    Edward T. Haley
  • editing
    Tom Daly
  • sound editing
    Tom Daly
  • re-recording
    Edward T. Haley
    Michel Descombes
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • music
    Eldon Rathburn

  • DMatsell, Vancouver 2021

    Thank you for posting this. I was eight years old when I first saw it. My father was part of the Sound Division at NFB and we had the opportunity to visit Expo67 daily. I didn't get the Labyrinth metaphor then, but I get it now. I remember the spectacular cinematography and the multi screens of the Chamber- listening intently to the amazing sound work (and the alligators and the baby being born). Although he probably didn't play a super big part in the production, I will always consider it part of of his legacy. Thanks NFB.

    DMatsell, Vancouver 2021, 3 Jun 2021
  • Effache

    I waited in line for 2½ hours to see this film at the Labyrinth Pavillion at Expo '67. After having seen it, I walked out and put mysef right back in queue to see it again. I was 13 years old and although at the time I didn't fathom all of the value of having watched, it had a profound effect on how I stgarted to look around me and look at the world then and since. I was able to remember only a few scenes watchng this again, scenes that I thought I had forgotten about. Wonderful work. Makes me think of the more recent Ron Fricke films... Thanks for calling attention to this masterwork.

    Effache, 11 Dec 2014
  • Bro. John

    Brilliant!Thanks for presenting this in its original format. It is a wonderful tribute to Roman Kroiter, Colin Low and Hugh O'Connor. Bro. John

    Bro. John, 20 Sep 2012
  • MvanGageldonk

    Yes, 720p is broken it seems, too bad because this film really requires a decent resolution....

    MvanGageldonk, 18 Sep 2012
  • hansmark

    we can't purchase a download of this? or watch it in 720? (doesn't seem to work) I would SO buy a blu-ray if you made one!! thank you!

    hansmark, 17 Sep 2012

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