Thor’s Clothes (and More) Come to ACMI’s New Exhibition

“It’s fantastic to have content from a film that was predominantly filmed in Australia, so we’re really proud,” says curator Bethan Johnson of ACMI’s new display featuring artifacts from the new Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. “We’ve had the costumes in the space now for a couple of days and it’s great to see people really drawn to them.”

For adults and kids alike, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in director Taika Waititi’s second crack at the Thor series. Hilarious, a little silly and jammed with stars like Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Russell Crowe, Thor: Love and Thunder is a visual feast, with eye-popping costumes courtesy of acclaimed Mexican designer Mayes Rubeo. Now, as part of ACMI’s ongoing exhibition The Story of the Moving Image, some of those key costumes and props are on display to the public.

“Mayes is obviously an incredible costume designer,” says Johnson. “In the display we learn about her approach to developing the characters, and how she worked with the actors to bring those characters to life,” says Johnson. “This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these characters on screen, but it feels like quite a different film. It has almost an ‘80s twist on it, and it definitely mirrors Taika Waititi’s comic bent.” Rubeo’s choice of colours is intrinsic to that style. “What’s really exciting about the costumes is their vibrancy and their colour,” says Johnson. “You’ve got cobalt blue, these bright reds, really rich colours that draw your eye in.”

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While there’s plenty to see, the showstopper is definitely Thor’s robe, designed by Rubeo in collaboration with NSW First Nations’ artist Otis Hope Carey. “For me, that’s one of the real highlights of the display,” says Johnson. “Otis Hope Carey worked very closely with Mayes on bringing together patterns and materiality and showcasing First Nations culture in this show.” Two robes were produced for the film – a lighter version to be cast aside by Hemsworth’s Thor, and a heavier one for more static shots, which is the version on display at ACMI.

Besides the intricate design, getting close to the costumes gives a new perspective to how we see the actors and their characters. “For me, it’s always seeing the scale and stature,” says Johnson. “It’s interesting. You notice someone like Tessa Thompson who plays Valkyrie, she’s absolutely tiny, but in the film she’s larger than life.” Other costumes on display include Natalie Portman’s Mighty Thor and Christian Bale’s Gorr the God of Thunder. In addition to Rubeo’s incredible costumes, visitors will be able to see key props like Mjölnir and Stormbreaker (Thor’s hammer and axe) and the lightning bolt of Zeus, played by Russell Crowe.

Costumes and props from the film Thor: Love and Thunder are exclusively on display now at ACMI, as part of The Story of the Moving Image exhibition. Entry is free and the display runs until 28 July 2023. More details.

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