Constructed like a grand epic, Expo67: Mission Impossible is a true thriller starring the characters who were the Mad Men of Montreal. The organizers had only 1,628 days to build an island, 128 pavilions, three bridges and trains capable of transporting tens of millions of visitors. A computer modelling team at the Stanford Research Institute predicted failure. The first organizing committee resigned. Speculators started getting edgy. Ottawa and Quebec City were reluctant to cough up the cash for a one-time event that would cost more than all the bridges of Montreal.
Despite endless foot-dragging in the office of Lester B. Pearson, the admonitions of René Lévesque, and almost systematic sabotage on the part of journalists, everything was ready for the official opening on April 28, 1967. The next six months were completely nuts: 183 days during which Montreal’s Mad Men—Robert Shaw, Yves Jasmin, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien and a few others—surmounted all obstacles: threats by the Black Panthers against Lyndon Johnson; a metro strike; bomb threats by FLQ militants; endless line-ups everywhere; a chronic shortage of accommodation that led to a variety of comical situations; massive crowds during Grace Kelly’s visit; the political shockwaves caused by Charles de Gaulle’s declaration “Vive le Quebec libre!”; missing children . . . all with an unbelievable procession of visitors, including 63 heads of state, 3,000 guests of honour, 35,000 journalists and 25,000 artists from around the world.
No other world’s fair in the 20th century caused such a stir in its host country and around the globe. Expo67: Mission Impossible recounts how the powerful artistic direction team exploited cutting-edge ideas and technologies—introducing visitors to space frame architecture, Imax, hands-free phones and pictograms—and revolutionizing everything from arts and culture to local cuisine. It was here that Montreal’s design, fashion and advertising industries were born. Expo 67 was the fabulous utopia its creators had envisioned . . . and its effects are still evident 50 years later.
Number of seasons
1 season (1 episodes)
Les Productions de la Ruelle
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