Celebrating all things Bond

With the latest Bond instalment, Skyfall, about to hit theatres, the Bond exhibit Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style has opened in Toronto at TIFF.

The exhibit offers a peek behind the scenes of the 50 year old series, and charts the evolution of the famous superspy character through artifacts taken from the archives of EON productions, the production company behind every film since the first: Dr. No, in 1962.

The exhibit first opened in London in July and makes its North American debut at TIFF, where it will be on display until January 20, 2013.

Fans must step through a gun barrel tunnel fashioned after the iconic opening credits to enter into the exhibit, where they will find many items from the films – some never before seen by the public – that celebrate the series and the wealth of artists, technicians and craftspeople who have brought the fictional character to life on screen.

While what is on display is just a fraction of what the production company has stored, the exhibit is packed with detailed illustrations, movie artifacts, video footage, interviews, costumes, scale models of weapons and vehicles, music and sound effects, documents and recreated set pieces to represent all 23 films in the series.

Most impressive is the incredibly lifelike and disturbing recreation of Goldfinger’s mistress sprawled out on a revolving bed, fatally covered with gold leaf.

The items aren’t displayed chronologically, but are laid out with the intent to inspire visitors to discover deeper connections between films that they may not have grasped before.

The exhibit truly spotlights the various technical aspects of film that rarely get public appreciation. Costume designer Lindy Hemming told CBC her thoughts when choosing pieces for the exhibit:

“My passion was to try to pull out things that would explain that you don’t just buy a costume in a shop, willy-nilly. Thought has gone into it. Maybe it has even been drawn and made from scratch. Or maybe it’s been bought and altered. Or maybe it was bought and copied with credit to the designer. I want people to know that every frame of a film involves hours and hours of consideration, deliberation and design over and above what they imagine of the camera and the lighting.”


Hemming added that she hopes the exhibit will shed light on the various departments that come together to make a film.
“There are more levels and different sections: from prosthetic makeup, which has to be designed, through furniture designs, designs of stunts, designs of clothing, designs of everything, gadgets. It’s all really fascinating and multi-layered. That’s my passion.”

To accompany the exhibit, TIFF will be screening each Bond film for their program Shaken Not Stirred: Bond on Film alongside panel discussions, educational programming and a marathon of the six films that pit bond against Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Watch Lindy Hemming discuss designing for 007: