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A Place to Stand is a 1967 short film (17 minutes) by Christopher Chapman.

It was made for the "Expo '67" World's Fair in Montreal, Canada. The film, which does not have any dialogue, is a visual collage of life in the province of Ontario. It seeks to document everything about life in the province: industry (mining, steel production), leisure (ice fishing, beaches), agriculture (several shots of farms), nature (Niagara Falls, wildlife), and other aspects of Ontario life and culture.

The film is remembered for its extensive and innovative use of split-screen. Virtually the entire film is a constantly changing split-screen collage, with as many as 15 images at a time on the screen. Consequently this 17-minute film actually contains an hour and a half of footage. This use of split screen has influenced many later works, such as the television series 24, which employed a similar style for screen transitions. Additionally, the film was exhibited on a large 66-feet by 30-feet screen, and thus was an influence on the development of IMAX films.

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The theme song to the short, "A Place to Stand, a Place to Grow", has become an unofficial anthem of the province of Ontario.


Tropes:

  • Blade-of-Grass Cut: Many closeups of flowers, also stalks of wheat.
  • Canadian = Hockey Fan: Does the movie include a collage of NHL action? Of course it does.
  • Documentary: A visual record of life in Ontario in 1967.
  • Match Cut: One cut goes from logs floating in a river to a similarly composed shot of reams of paper on spools, demonstrating what's done with the logs.
  • Silence Is Golden: No dialogue in the short, although there is a theme song.
  • Split Screen: Besides the constantly shifting, irregularly shaped frames that make up the split screen, frames sometimes move around the screen. For example, a little frame showing a farmer on his tractor moves clear across the screen from left to right. Chapman's revolutionary use of split screen has been called the "Multi-dynamic image technique."
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