Last week I wrote about TIFF’s wide-ranging retrospective From Within: The Films of David Cronenberg. It’s a superb series showcasing all of his films, with several special screenings featuring talks by either Cronenberg himself or various of his collaborators. TIFF’s outdone themselves this time around, going beyond the film programme to mount a Cronenberg Expo featuring props, costumes, artwork and more, called David Cronenberg: Evolution.
The exhibition traces from the beginnings of Cronenberg’s career up to his most recent films. As Noah Cowan, TIFF’s Artistic Director, observes, “David Cronenberg has made an immeasurable contribution to Canadian and global cinema. TIFF has been fortunate enough to have worked with him throughout his career to amass a significant collection of artifacts and documents that have made this celebration possible.” And boy have they. Props and makeup appliances from Cronenberg’s earliest films are on display, including the Hobbes parasites created by Joe Blasco for Shivers and the vagina-like slit from James Woods’ torso created by effects legend Rick Baker for Videodrome. Made from latex, the older pieces are fragile and some are a little shrivelled, but they’re remarkably well preserved. I was surprised how many weird bits under glass still packed a visceral punch. You can feel the creepiness vibrating from each unsettling protuberance. The discarded pieces of Seth Brundle’s body from The Fly, created by Chris Wallas, are still cringe-worthy, as are the Mantle retractor and other custom gynecological tools sculpted by Cheryl Camack Grundy for Dead Ringers. Even inert, Cronenberg knows how to mess your sex up.
If you’ve had enough of our grievously brief Canadian summer, you can get a jumpstart on deep wintry chill with The Oxbow Cure, on at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the coming week. Is this Canuck creeper fit to get under your skin? The answer is a jump away…
Some movies just sneak up on you. You have no expectations and they just wind up holding you through its run time and then stick with you long after they’ve finished. That was definitely the case for both the Queen and I with Donovan’s Echo, starring Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood.