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Toronto Serves Up a Kubrick Cornucopia

 The Exhibition, Toronto, 2014

In the 15 years since his passing, Stanley Kubrick's reputation has continued to grow as one of the finest directors in the history of cinema, while new generations of film fans discover the rich body of work he left behind, which continues to provoke passionate debate regarding his films' meaning, whether philosophical, moral or metaphysical. Whatever one's own position on a given film, there's no denying that for many viewers, Kubrick's work inspires a fervor which shows no sign of abating. 
And for those interested in all things Kubrickian, Toronto will be the place to be this autumn as the Toronto International Film Festival presents Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, which opens October 31 at the Bell Lightbox, and runs through January 25, 2015. 
More than a decade after making its debut at the German Film Museum in Frankfurt am Main in 2004, followed by installations in Paris, Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Los Angeles and São Paulo, the exhibition will complete its current incarnation at Krakow's National Museum in Poland on September 14, where it's been running since May.
Stanley Kubrick and Peter Sellers on the set of Dr. Strangelove (1964)
For hard-core Kubrick fans, the exhibit offers the ultimate kid-in-a-candy-store opportunity to view and appreciate a vast assortment of original props and costumes, camera equipment, memorabilia and assorted ephemera associated with Kubrick's extensive career, including selections of his early work as a staff photographer for the American magazine Look from 1945 until 1950, when he embarked on his career as a film director. The rest, as they say, is history.
And there's no shortage of historically significant and interesting items for Kubrick fans to peruse. Visitors will be able to see iconic cinematic objects such as the custom-designed furniture and set pieces from the Korova milk bar in A Clockwork Orange; masks from Eyes Wide Shut; Private Joker's helmet from Full Metal Jacket; and the original scale model of the war room and the actual missile Slim Pickins rode in Dr. Strangelove. For the more technically minded, there is a selection of Kubrick's cameras, including his beloved 35mm Arriflex IIC, first used on Clockwork and every one of his films thereafter. Also on view will be the specially designed, super fast Planar lens, originally manufactured by the Carl Zeiss company for NASA in 1967. With a maximum aperture of only F 0.7, Kubrick used it to shoot various interior scenes in Barry Lyndon with only available candlelight, as they would have been lit in the 18th century-- a masterful technical achievement that few directors would dare to attempt even today.
Complementing the exhibit, Stanley Kubrick: A Cinematic Odyssey will present a retrospective of Kubrick's feature films and lesser known shorts, in addition to a series of special events featuring various Kubrick scholars and collaborators. Jan Harlan, Kubrick's close friend, long-time producer and brother-in-law, will be present to introduce the opening film of the retrospective, The Shining on October 31. 
On November 1, Harlan will return with his sister, Kubrick's widow Christiane, to discuss Eyes Wide Shut, while the stars of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea will discuss their experiences working with Kubrick during the production of this cinematic masterpiece, considered by many to be the finest science fiction film ever made, which will be followed by the screening of a newly struck 70mm print, especially created by TIFF and Warner Brothers for the retrospective. 
On November 7, Douglas Trumbull who created 2001's legendary special effects (decades before the advent of CGI) will introduce the film, and on November 8 will give a special presentation, Douglas Trumbull on The Future of Cinema. And, to top it off, distinguished French film critic and editor of Positif Michel Ciment will introduce screenings of A Clockwork Orange on November 8 and Paths of Glory on November 9.
A Space Odyssey (1968)
So, while most film fans are caught up in the current film festival frenzy which makes Toronto in early September one of the most exciting places to be, there's another group who will be counting down the days until the start of what will surely prove to be one of the most exciting and comprehensive celebrations of Kubrick's work ever assembled in one location. Stanley, no doubt, would be very proud and honored, indeed.
Tickets to the exhibition and film programme go on sale September 16 at 10 a.m. for TIFF Members and September 24 at 10 a.m. for the public. TIFF Members get free access to the exhibition. TIFF ticket buyers are able to purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $10. Public exhibition tickets are $12.50 including tax (child/student/senior discounts available). 


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