Toronto: David Cronenberg Exhibit Goes on Tour

American Film Institute

Director David Cronenberg at AFI (No. 2), which broadcasts Master Classes on Turner Classic Movies.

A new museum exhibit places the 70-year-old director in the spotlight, showcasing artwork inspired by his work.

Toronto's biggest post-festival cultural event will be a retrospective swoon for 70-year-old David Cronenberg, curated by Toronto FIlm Festival CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Noah Cowan. "He's Canadian film's greatest gift to the rest of the world," says Cowan, "and TIFF's had a long relationship with him going back decades, so we thought it was the perfect fit for the first major show we've curated in our new building."

The exhibit, entitled "Evolution," will feature artifacts from script drafts to on-set props. (Transformation, a related show of TIFF-commissioned artwork inspired by Cronenberg's oeuvre, opened yesterday at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.) Evolution's centerpiece will be the Naked Lunch room, featuring a re-created Moroccan bar boasting the film's famously surreal Mugwump creatures.

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"Museum shows can be dry and didactic," says Handling. "We want this to be immersive." The exhibition will run Nov. 1 to Jan. 19, before touring three continents over five years. "For it to begin here, though, makes perfect sense," Cronenberg tells THR. "TIFF and I started together and developed in a symbiotic way." He's just as happy to see the show travel. "When I go to France or Italy or Sweden, they really like the idea that I'm Canadian. For me it's normal, but for them it's exotic. And that's good."