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Book Review: Elysium: The Art of the Film

08.27.2013by: Kevin Woods


PLOT: Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man (Matt Damon) takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. From Neill Blomkamp, the director of the acclaimed DISTRICT 9, comes ELYSIUM, an eagerly awaited sci-fi blockbuster starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

All will be revealed in ELYSIUM: THE ART OF THE FILM, which features a foreword by Blomkamp, and wealth of stunning production art and photos, including the input of legendary designer Syd Mead.

REVIEW: Titan Books have scored themselves another winner with ELYSIUM: THE ART OF THE FILM, a fantastic companion piece to the Matt Damon-starring sci-fi hit currently in theaters (read The Arrow's review HERE). This 176-page oversized hardcover offers you page after page of concept and production art and designs, as well as stills from the Neill Blomkamp-helmed film, first-hand accounts from the filmmakers (including legendary artist Syd Mead of BLADE RUNNER and TRON fame), discussions and diagrams of the special effects utilized in the film, and more. Not to mention that there are also incredibly rendered designs for many of the films creations, including the Exo-Suit, spacecrafts, weapons, robots, locations and more, as well as many other concept paintings. All in all, it’s everything you could want from a book titled THE ART OF THE FILM and more.

Written by Mark Salisbury with a foreword by director Neill Blomkamp himself, this book is filled with evidence of the massive amounts of detail that was put into the creation of the film and the world of ELYSIUM. You will find yourself pulled into the pages rather quickly, enthralled by the incredible imagery contained within the cover. As Blomkamp reveals in his foreword…

“We did upwards of three thousand distinct pieces of concept art on this film.”

You will find many of these pieces within these pages.

The book is broken up into two parts: EARTH and ELYSIUM. In the section titled EARTH we are given details on the inspiration and creation of the vehicles, the design of the weapons, robots, and Exo-suits which were created by WETA, as well as the locations used in the story, beginning with the interior of Max’s (Matt Damon) hut, to the design of the parole office and factory utilized in the film. We also get a look inside the concept of Spider’s (Wagner Moura) lair, where the ‘ghetto surgery’ to get the Exo-suit onto Max takes place.

For the second section of the book titled ELYSIUM, there’s a look at the titular structures exterior construction via some incredible artwork (“You won’t find a better home on Earth”) as well as a look at the design of  the interior setting for the privileged residents of the floating paradise. Also covered are some of the sets used in the film, such as the Control Room, as well as the vehicles of ELYSIUM including the Deportation Shuttles.

Several pages are given to the character of Kruger (Sharlto Copley), highlighting not only his Exo-suit design, but also his weapons. There is also a section where Kruger’s ship, The Raven, is covered in mucho detail, with lots of concept art and Blomkamp stating…

“I wanted it to be almost like a futuristic Black Hawk.”

Overall ELYSIUM: THE ART OF THE FILM is a perfect book for fans of the film, with detail on every aspect of prop and set design from the wonderfully-imagined landscapes of the titular paradise Elysium to the harsh reality of a doomed and dying planet Earth. The book illustrates the film nicely and gives the reader some detail of the thinking behind the film as well as the processes that went into creating the world of ELYSIUM. If you like the ideas of the movie, you’ll get a lot from this book.

If you want a peek inside the pages, check out the video below and then click HERE to order ELYSIUM: THE ART OF THE FILM.

Extra Tidbit: Will you be picking up ELYSIUM: THE ART OF THE FILM?



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