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Year: 1964
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 9 min
Director: Grant Munro, Norman McLaren
Producer: Grant Munro, Norman McLaren
Writer: Grant Munro, Norman McLaren
Cinematographer: Robert Humble, Jim Gillissie
Animation: Grant Munro
Sound: Ron Alexander
Music: Eldon Rathburn
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

In its simplest form, the canon is a musical "round" in which each singer picks up the words and tune a beat or so after the preceding singer. In this film, Norman McLaren (who studied musical theory for three years as a child) and Grant Munro provide an amusing demonstration – by combining animation and live action – of how a canon works. They use blocks, humans, cats and butterflies moving to a strict rhythm (the music was prepared after the visuals). The same shot is superimposed several times on the same piece of film, but the events in the shot are staggered; by repeating, freezing and reversing cycles of action, the film translates into visual terms the four-part canon, the two-part canon and the retrograde and inverted canons. A film of considerable virtuosity, Canon won a Canadian Film Award for Best Arts and Experimental Film.

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