A collection of artifacts and images from the history of film will be gathered together in Essential Cinema, the first exhibit to be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Toronto Film Festival’s new downtown home. “This is truly a representation of what happens at the festival, a back and forth between programmers, the audience and conversations in line,” says Noah Cowan, artistic director of the Lightbox. “The pieces show the history of cinema, writ large. It’s a conversation with the audience on why film matters to us all.” The exhibit, which includes original scripts and storyboards, memorabilia and new art projects from artists such as Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin, is free to the public and open during the entire film festival, from Sept. 9-19. Read more about Noah Cowan’s favourite exhibit pieces in this National Post piece.
The Essential Cinema exhibition will transform the gallery spaces of TIFF Bell Lightbox into a journey through the Essential 100, TIFF’s list of the most influential films of all time. Bringing together iconic costumes, film stills, posters, music samples and film clips, the exhibition charts these works – all 100 of them – that have played such a key role in defining film culture for more than a century. Highlights include Robert De Niro’s cab license, used while researching his role in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), original release posters from Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), and original storyboards from Gone With the Wind (1939) depicting the evacuation of Atlanta. The exhibition will also include a special section, developed in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, exploring elements of the creative process behind Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Vertigo (1958), from costume design to Saul Bass’ iconic title sequence. Audiences will have at least two opportunities to see each of the films before the end of 2010.