The Art Of Elysium

elWelcome to Neill Blomkamp’s world of Elysium. The future may not be very bright for us Earthbound dwellers – and this book goes to lengths to show just how perishable a planet it has become in the future. But those lucky individuals living off world at the Elysium station have it pretty much made, and buyers of this book get to soak up the design of it all.

Any “Art of” book needs to do what it says on the tin and this one does the job. This book doesn’t break any rules or general regulations along the way: you will find a mix of rough sketches, paintings, storyboards, behind the scenes set photography and stills from the film itself.

Of course anyone wanting to see the film first will want to wait on this book for a bit.  While it doesn’t exactly tell the intimate details of the narrative in explicit detail – the book does pretty much give most of details away simply by showing rather than telling. So if you don’t want too much of the world or even character outcomes to be spoiled then avoid for now.

Every visual aspect of the film is covered in glorious design and realisation detail. Sketches of characters in potential costumes (including the exo-suits as well as selected clothing for the time). Scientific designs of technology – from law enforcement drones. Vehicle designs for both land and air and the weaponry of the future is also highlighted.

There are many similarities in some of the designs here compared to the design of District 9 (we can probably get away with say that a few of the same design team members were carried over to this film.

Elysium itself is truly a thing of beauty. There is logic in the design, and it offers the perfect counterbalance to the crude earth that rests beneath it in space. The Art of Elysium has the designs and the artists to make this book one of the stronger contenders for people to buy

Steven Hurst

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