Special effects defy the impossible always pushing the limits of technology, they reveal the infinite abundance of human imagination.

They add to the illusion, enhance the attractiveness of moving images and reinvent reality! Finally discover the secrets and illusions that have brought to life, for more than a century, the magic of moving images.

The Cinémathèque québécoise will kick off its 50th anniversary celebrations with the launch of Secrets and Illusions - The Magic of Special Effects, a new long-term exhibition demystifying special effects. The exhibition draws back the curtain on the ingenious techniques used to create special effects in moving images from the earliest days to the present. Éric Falardeau is the guest curator of Secrets and Illusions.

Divided into three parts, the exhibition will address the history of special effects, from its beginning in the studios of Georges Méliès, Willis O’Brien or even Thomas Edison. Then, the second part of the exhibition will highlight the contribution of special effects to the magic of moving images, while the third part will explain to visitors the process of creating special effects and their technical specifications, from the initial scenario to the screen. Secrets and Illusions is a fun and engaging educational experience that looks at special effects from a historical, technical and aesthetic perspective, presenting artefacts from films such as Simon les nuagesto the virtual futuristic sets of Mars et Avril. International in scope, the exhibition features creations by and interviews with some of the biggest names in the field, including the legendary special effects designer Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the ArgonautsClash of the Titans) and makeup artist Dick Smith (The Godfather, The Exorcist, Taxi Driver), while also showcasing homegrown talent, with clips from Quebec films and interviews with special effects creators such as Adrien Morot and Pierre Raymond. Secrets and Illusions opens April 19 in the Cinémathèque’s Salle Raoul-Barré, with free admission for the general public. The exhibition is made possible thanks to a major contribution from Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications. The Cinémathèque québécoise would also like to thank the firm of Lupien+Matteau for the staging of the exhibition, as well as France Film, Réalisations, Autodesk and MFX Productions.