I had the most awesome day on Saturday at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax. In addition to the usual land and marine life dioramas and exhibits, this summer the museum featured the traveling exhibit, Out of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television. I’ve been anxious to get there all summer, and on this the last weekend, I finally made it along with Krista (from over at Bite-sized Travel – you can read her post on our visit here), L-A (from Fashionable People, Questionable Things), and another (non-blogger, but still very fun) friend.
You might enjoy this exhibit if a) you know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars, b) you’ve ever wondered if you’re taller than George Clooney, or c) you own at least one Star Wars action figure. And since a trip to the museum is always educational, I’ll preface my recap with some of my learnings… I learned that actors are tiny, tiny people and/or wear very stretchy costumes. I learned that it’s possible to be “starstruck” by inanimate objects. I learned that the one with the most toys does in fact win.
I also had to contend with the accusation I was a “nerd” when I attempted to explain the significance of the Imperial Starship officer’s uniforms and how they were different than Stormtroopers. I proudly embraced my inner “nerd” while I wandered through the iconic symbols of my childhood and the broader movie and TV sci-fi universes – this exhibit was like nerdapalooza, nerdopolis, and nerdvana all rolled into one!
Highlights from the exhibit included:
- The classic Robin costume from the 1960s television series
- George Clooney’s Batman suit – complete with anatomically correct nipples and prominent codpiece. It seemed smaller than I would’ve thought (the costume, not the codpiece).
- The Gorn suit from “Arena”, Season 1, Episode 18 of the original Star Trek series. I conferred with my fellow museum-goers about how the actor in this suit could see and/or breathe. We suspect the large slit between the mesh eyes and the “nostrils” had at least one of those functions. Check out the clip to see it in “action”…
- The Wicked Witch’s hat from “The Wizard of Oz”
- Harrison Ford’s signature leather jacket and bullwhip from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
- Darth Vader was very imposing. I mean, really kind of scary. Despite my learning stated at the outset that actors seem very tiny based on costume size, Darth Vader was, if anything, larger than life. The character was of course famously voiced by James Earl Jones, but was less famously embodied by Mr. Universe contender David Prowse, who was by all accounts a very large man. Verified.
- Luke Skywalker’s Rebel uniform (orange jumpsuit), his mechanical hand from “The Empire Strikes Back”, and his <gasp> lightsaber! There was also a Stormtrooper helmet that looked very heavy and awkward to wear. No wonder this happened…
- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leather jacket from “Terminator”
- Dan Aykroyd’s ghostbusting jumpsuit. The detail on this thing was amazing, right down to the “Danger high voltage” stickers on the proton pack and the “official” patch on the shoulder.
The Halifax showing was the only Canadian location set for the traveling exhibit and according to the exhibition schedule, the costumes are on their way to Naples, Florida for three months.
Non-nerds, enter at your own risk!