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Know Your Secret Agent: TIFF Debuts Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style

When you’ve been saving the world for five decades, you’re bound to get noticed. Just so with Bond, James Bond. The character created by Ian Fleming and portrayed by the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig has become much more than a simple action hero. He’s also a cultural icon, having influenced everything from fashion to cars to cocktails, while continuing to have a major impact on the way blockbuster movies are made.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style delves deep into some of the most notable aspects of the British spy’s cinematic legacy. Opening October 26 (and on display through January 20) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the sprawling exhibition assembles a vast quantity of artifacts, imagery and ephemera from the 22 existing Bond films in six themed sections: the display opens in MI6 Headquarters, where 007 receives his marching orders from M, his boss and father/mother figure, while a later section on Foreign Territories depicts the far-off lands where the secret agent inevitably ends up; a gold-obsessed vignette pays homage to Goldfinger, arguably the most popular Bond film, as well as The Man with the Golden Gun; technophiles will get a thrill walking through gadget-laden Q Branch; haute couture is the focus in the exhibit’s casino-oriented room; and the series’ most famous evildoers, henchmen and femmes fatale step into the spotlight in the rogues gallery of Villains and Enigmas.

Check out our photo gallery, below, for a glimpse of what to expect from the “shaken not stirred” show.

Of course, you wouldn’t expect a celebration of the 20th century’s most successful super-spy without a retrospective of his on-screen exploits. During Designing 007’s nearly three-month stint in Toronto, TIFF also presents the full slate of Bond films, beginning with 1962’s Dr. No and running up to 2008’s Quantum of Solace (the 23rd Bond movie, Skyfall, opens in major theatres on November 9). Cinephiles can also look forward to an appearance by John Glen, director of all five Bond films from the 1980s. He sits down with TIFF’s head of film programmes, Jesse Wente, on December 10.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style runs from October 26 through January 20 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Timed-entry admission is $15.

All photos by Craig Moy except where noted.