Members of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) had the privilege of receiving a personalized tour conducted by the creative chiefs of the new and stunning glass encased home of the Toronto International Film Festival in downtown Toronto, fondly known as the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Slideshow by: Zuhair (Kash) Kashmeri; Photos by:
Located at 350 King Street West, just past the Royal Alex, TIFF Bell houses everything from state-of-the-art screening theatres to exhibition halls, a bar and restaurant, meeting areas, everything designed to perfection – after all by some counts this is the world’s No. 1 film festival. Our visit on Feb. 23 was conducted by none other than Noah Cowan, TIFF Bell Lightbox’s Artistic Director, accompanied among others by Jesse Wente, Head of Film Programmes, and Pamela Mollica, Director of Communications. Members were taken through the exhibition that has come to TIFF Bell Lightbox from MOMA in New York, featuring the works of filmmaker Tim Burton – think Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd and most recently Alice in Wonderful in 3D – as if the story itself isn’t written in 3D!
Cowan pointed to several colour sketches done by Burton for his movies. He would sketch each scene even before the movie was filmed. Viewing some of them brought to memory scenes from movies. This sketching each scene technique, Jesse Wente concurred was something he adopted from the famous Russian director of the early 20th Century, Sergei Eisenstein. (Battleship Potemkin and its Steps of Odessa sequence, the Ivan the Terrible trilogy, etc.) Eisenstein also used the Japanese Kabuki dance method to stylise some of his scenes, such as the battle scenes. Here is how TIFF communications described this exhibit: “…a major exhibition which explores Burton’s creative vision and his artistic development from early significant drawings he made as a teenager to sophisticated renderings used to create characters for his most treasured recent films. Delving deep into Burton’s visual imagination, the exhibition brings together more than 700 items including paintings, drawings, puppets, costumes, storyboards and maquettes drawn from Burton’s personal vault, studio archives and private collections. The exhibition also includes six new sculptural commissions created for The Museum of Modern Art (Balloon Boy, Carousel, Topiary, Three Creatures, Stainboy Diorama and Robot Boy) and one new display window commissioned specifically for TIFF Bell Lightbox.” Tim Burton will run until April 17, 2011. CEMA members were also shown the famous Mary Pickford exhibition. Here is an excerpt from TIFF’s own press release: “The inaugural exhibition in TIFF’s new Canadian Film Gallery, Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star chronicles the life and career of one of the first and greatest stars of the silent cinema, Canada’s own Mary Pickford. Amassed over a 30-year period by private collector Rob Brooks, this exhibition draws on his extraordinary collection of 1,900 items including photographs, posters, memorabilia, postcards, and products endorsed by Pickford. It illustrates the profound mark she left upon the film world: Pickford was one of the first film stars to use her stardom to cross the threshold from acting into writing, directing, producing and celebrity branding. “The exhibition is complemented by a screening programme that features four of Pickford’s greatest films including her first film as her own producer, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), and her second collaboration with noted director Maurice Tourneur, The (1917). The exhibition at the Canadian Film Gallery runs from January 13 until July 3, 2011 and is curated by Sylvia Frank, Director of TIFF’s Film Reference Library and Special Collections.”
Poor Little Rich Girl Yet another even at TIFF Bell Lightbox is a retrospective called: Fashion, Fascists and F**king: The films of Bernardo Bertolucci. This launched on January 6. If you are a film buff of any serious magnitude, this new TIFF location is for you. A far cry from what began as a 10-day film festival which is now considered a “must” if you want your film to go anywhere! Besides you have a complete reference facility when it comes to world cinema at your fingertips at 350 King Street West in Toronto. For more information check out the festival’s website at http://tiff.net
ALL PHOTOS OF THE CEMA-TIFF TOUR COURTESY OF . TEXT BY ZUHAIR (KASH) KASHMERI, WEBMASTER.