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TIFF Embarks on The Cronenberg Project in Toronto

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TIFF Embarks on The Cronenberg Project in TorontoNo this has nothing to do with three student filmmakers who head off into the Canadian woods to find a mythical director who was last seen fondling his new flesh. This is a beast of a different kind. Read on for details.

From the Press Release
Details of The Cronenberg Project, a multi-platform celebration of the work of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, David Cronenberg, were announced today by Piers Handling, CEO and Director, TIFF and Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox. Running from November 1, 2013 to January 19, 2014, the core component of The Cronenberg Project is a comprehensive film exhibition titled David Cronenberg: Evolution, curated by Handling and Cowan. The exhibition, which will be presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox in the HSBC Gallery, explores the world of David Cronenberg by tracing his development and progression as a filmmaker through the themes of physical and psychological transformation that define his cinema; from telepaths and scientists to television producers and twin doctors. This also marks the first major original exhibition curated and launched by TIFF that will tour internationally with locations to be announced at a later date.

The Cronenberg Project also includes an experiential virtual museum called David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition; a full retrospective of Cronenberg’s films with multiple newly struck 35mm prints and new digital restorations; an interactive digital experience titled Body/Mind/Change, a Lance Weiler project and co-production with TIFF and CFC Media Lab; an art exhibition curated by Noah Cowan and David Liss titled David Cronenberg: Transformation, presented in partnership with the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA); and two original publications celebrating the film and art exhibitions. David Cronenberg: Transformation will run from September 5 to December 29, 2013 at MOCCA, with the opening reception taking place on September 4 just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival.

“After collaborating with some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world to bring highly anticipated film exhibitions to Canada, we are excited to reach this major milestone at TIFF Bell Lightbox by originating a show of our own to share with the international community,” said Handling. “This exhibition underscores our commitment as an organization to Canadian film and its legacy, and presenting and celebrating David Cronenberg is a natural choice.”

“David Cronenberg is among the world’s great filmmakers and we feel fortunate to have worked with him on multiple projects over the last 30 years, including the creation of a Special Collection archive in TIFF’s Film Reference Library, which has yielded the most spectacular elements of this show,” added Cowan. “The Cronenberg Project is the culmination of this relationship and we are thankful to David and the many participating institutions and individuals who are collaborating on this enterprise to create a significant global impact on behalf of this extraordinary artist.”

Highlights of David Cronenberg: Evolution include key pieces and materials from Cronenberg’s extensive filmography—including costumes, props, photographs, audio-visual elements, art work and set-design drawings—such as the helmet from Videodrome (1983), the game consoles from eXistenZ (1999), the surgical tools from Dead Ringers (1988), the leg braces from Crash (1996), the typewriters from Naked Lunch (1991), and the pod from The Fly (1986).

David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition, launching online and in the CIBC Gallery on November 1, explores Cronenberg’s films through new scholarship and artistic explorations, including essays, academic writing, an interactive map and timeline, and a selection of rare behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg’s past and present collaborators. A natural extension of TIFF’s Higher Learning programming and Digital Resource Hub, David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition looks to enhance educational opportunities within the academic community and the public at large to stimulate ongoing research in Cronenberg’s filmography.

David Cronenberg: Transformation at MOCCA will feature six new, TIFF-commissioned artworks from leading Canadian and international contemporary artists who share Cronenberg’s inspirations from literature and philosophy—writers such as McLuhan, Burroughs and Ballard—and his fascination with biological horror, the human psyche and the merging of humans and media. Artists featured: Candice Breitz, James Coupe, Marcel Dzama, Jeremy Shaw, Jamie Shovlin and Laurel Woodcock.

Body/Mind/Change, a digital extension of David Cronenberg: Evolution, immerses users/audiences in a “Cronenbergian” world across three platforms—online, mobile, and real life—through an “artificial intelligence recommendation engine” called POD (Personal On-Demand). Users can sign up now at the Mind Body Change website to register for a POD and enter into this story-world experience, which will launch in October and culminate with a physical hub inside the CIBC Canadian Film Gallery. Body/Mind/Change provides the opportunity for the audience to become a part of the exhibition and to explore the dark landscape where Cronenberg’s stories live.

Evolution, the opening celebration for the exhibition David Cronenberg: Evolution, will take over TIFF Bell Lightbox for the evening of Wednesday, October 30, featuring live entertainment, interactive art installations, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are now on sale here, proceeds will support annual film programming at TIFF along with education and community initiatives.

The Cronenberg Project

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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