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The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes

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Director  Bill Mason
Music director  Robert Fleming
Produced by  Joseph Koenig
Writer  Bill Mason (script)
Language  English
8.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Short
Cinematography  Bill Mason
Duration  
Country  Canada
The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes httpsiytimgcomviafsALz2w4hqdefaultjpg

Awards  BAFTA Award for Best Specialised Film
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The rise and fall of the great lakes


The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes is a 1968 Canadian short film featuring a humorous geography lesson, in which a canoeist travels abruptly through time as he crosses the Great Lakes, experiencing cataclysmic changes in different eras. The film is narrated in ballad form.

Contents

Summary

Some animation is employed in the film to show the coming and going of the Ice Age when the lakes were born, but most of the other episodes of lake history are suggested by camera tricks that affect the canoeist and so emphasize the change. There is, for instance, a scene where open water suddenly turns to ice, freezing the canoe in mid-paddle. Then the canoe is left in midair high above the water, illustrating the melting of the ice, and causing the canoeist to crash to the water below. At another point, he is almost run over by a huge freighter, illustrating the befouling of the waters by shipping. Such slapstick effects are employed to mark the major changes in the history of the Great Lakes. At intervals the camera examines surviving evidence of the passage of the Ice Age, such as the striations of the rocks and the folds in the earth of farm landscapes viewed from the air. Toward the end of the film the canoeist seems finally to be safe from violent change. He dips his cup for a drink, but with his second sip discovers that the water has been fouled by human-produced industrial waste.

Production

The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes was created by the NFB for the educational market, with the working title Evolution of the Great Lakes. The film proved so popular with children and teachers in test screenings that it was blown up to 35 mm for theatrical distribution. However, Mason was disappointed when the NFB producer made several changes to his finished work, feeling he had lost creative control.

Awards

The film won a BAFTA Film Award in 1971.

Credits

  • Directed by: Bill Mason
  • Writing credits: Bill Mason
  • Cast: Blake James as Canoeist
  • Film details

  • Runtime: 17 min
  • Country: Canada
  • Language: English
  • Color: Color
  • References

    The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes Wikipedia
    The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes IMDb The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes themoviedb.org