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James Bond

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.

Hot Art: The TIFF Bell Lightbox Celebrates 50 Stylish Years of James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (photo © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

OCTOBER 26 TO JANUARY 20  Britain’s most famous secret agent, James Bond, has taken his license to kill all around the world—from Jamaica in Dr. No to Istanbul in Skyfall, the newest entry in the hugely popular film series. Now the Bond brand arrives in Toronto as the TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. This sprawling exhibition examines the ever-stylish spy’s ongoing cultural impact through costumes, sets, props like Oddjob’s steel-rimmed hat from Goldfinger, and even a December 10 appearance by John Glen, director of five Bond movies. To accompany the show, TIFF also offers screenings of every 007 film from the past half-century.  —Eva Voinigescu