Guns, gadgets highlight Bond exhibit in Toronto
A life-sized replica of the Jill Masterson character in "Goldfinger" is one of the highlights of the "Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style" exhibit in Toronto. (The Canadian Press/HO-Jane Hobson)
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 6:14AM EDT
TORONTO -- James Bond's tuxedos, guns and gadgets -- as well as a life-sized replica of Shirley Eaton's famed nude scene in "Goldfinger" -- are among the highlights of a new display devoted to the debonair superspy.
"Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style" opens Friday at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox and is billed as the most comprehensive collection of James Bond memorabilia ever assembled.
First staged at the Barbican Centre in London, the exhibition visits Toronto until Jan. 20, 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise and coincides with the Nov. 9 release of the latest flick "Skyfall."
"This exhibition really allows you to explore just what goes into making blockbuster movie magic happen and what it takes to get a film like a Bond movie up on the big screen," says Jesse Wente, head of film programs for TIFF Bell Lightbox.
"It's just exciting to be a movie fan and see something like this."
Guests enter the exhibit by walking through a gun-barrel tunnel that evokes the trademark opening sequences of the Bond films. From there they see an Ian Fleming room, showcasing the original manuscript for 1962's "Dr. No" and first editions of the other Bond novels turned into films.
Around the corner is a recreation of the office of M, the head of the secret intelligence service, including the actual office doors seen in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Skyfall."
Then it's the gold room, one of the exhibition's highlights.
"It's to really celebrate the phenomenon of 'Goldfinger,' which was the fastest grossing motion picture of all-time when it came out," says guest curator Bronwyn Cosgrave.
"Sean Connery's James Bond became a pop culture phenomenon whose profile was only really rivalled at the time by the Beatles."
The centrepiece of the room is an ode to Bond's "Golden Girl," the Jill Masterson character played by Eaton. In "Goldfinger," she's asphyxiated after being covered with gold leaf by Oddjob. For the exhibit, a golden life-sized replica of her lies on a spinning round bed.
Other artifacts in the room include Oddjob's trademark bowler hat and Francisco Scaramanga's golden gun from "The Man with the Golden Gun."
Wente's favourite section of the exhibition is an area devoted to the Q Branch research lab with collections of weaponry and gizmos used by Bond.
"As a life-long Bond fan there's things here I never thought I'd actually get to see in real life," he says, adding that he was also thrilled to see the metal teeth worn by the villain Jaws.
The costumes of other villains and memorable characters are also displayed throughout the exhibition and serve as a reminder of how influential and trend-setting the franchise has been, says Cosgrave.
Production designer "Ken Adam classified the look of Bond films back in the day as slightly ahead of contemporary," she says.
"It was very visionary, it offered people a look into the future in some ways. The car he drove would be the aspirational car, his suits would be the kind of suit a man would aspire to wear, and the look was very modern and continued to be modern."
Tickets for the exhibition are $15, while admission is free to members of the TIFF Bell Lightbox.