Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Costume Exhibit at Bell Lightbox

 The Film Reference Library on the fourth floor of the Bell Lightbox holds rotating free exhibits including the recently completed one on Mary Pickford.  The current exhibit is called "Otherworldly - The Art of Canadian Costume Design" and features the work of Canadian wardrobe designers from various science fiction, fantasy or horror movies.

Woody Harrelson's Defendor costume was created with every day items such as a black turtleneck, duct tape, a fanny pack and a car seat belt, since this was supposed to be a "home-made" super hero uniform.  The actress playing the the alien in the creepy science fiction flick Splice wore a prop tail so that the dress would take the correct shape for digital tail to be added later.  Many costumes came from the horror movies including Orphan (blue dress of the demon child), Gingersnaps (wolf fur headdress) and Survival of the Dead (gory body parts and weapons of torture).

Costumes from fantasies such as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parness or Hank & Mike (two men dressed in pink bunny suits) were more whimsical in nature.  Accompanying the costumes were also movie posters and photographs, and sketches that illustrated the thought process behind the designs.

Several videos demonstrated the techniques of creating the costumes. For Saw VI, multiple shirts are covered  with "blood stains" as red blood-like paint is  smeared on with the hand or splattered from a spray bottle.  For the remake of "The Thing" which is set in Antarctica, a hooded parka is progressively coated with more and more "frost" and is made to look worn and weathered as the movie progresses.

This was an interesting exhibit that is well worth a trip to the fourth floor, all the more so since its free.  Too bad it isn't as well advertised as the blockbuster fee based exhibits on the ground floor (currently showing Grace Kelly, but that's a topic for the next blog entry.)

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