Book Review: Elysium: The Art of the Film

Elysium the art of the filmAuthor: Mark Salisbury

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Titan Books

ISBN-10: 1781162476
ISBN-13: 978-1781162477


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 will feature a Foreword by Blomkamp, and wealth of stunning production art and photos, including the input of legendary designer Syd Mead (Blade Runner, Tron).

Neill Blomkamp has imagined a world where everything you know in a class system has been taken to the extreme. The rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer, the two groups divided to no longer inhabit Earth together. The “First World” rich have created their own world, Elysium, outside and as separated as they can get from the “Third World” poor.

In the book Elysium: The Art of the Film, author Mark Salisbury takes us though the vast amounts of concept art that make this film come to life through interviews with director Neill Blomkamp, concept artist Syd Mead, production designer Phil Ivey and actors Matt Damon, Jodi Foster, Sharlto Copley and more.

Some film art books are very heavy on the pictures and only have a few captions, but Elysium: The Art of the Film reads more like a commentary over the movie. We can see the stunning visuals of the movie but the book is filled with wonderful commentary from those who created it.

The first half of the book is centered on Earth. Director Neill Blomkamp was very insistent that the robots be original and there are pages and pages of concept art for the different robots, from the not-helpful DMV-like stationary robot to the robot who drags Max (Matt Damon) from the factory kiln, a robot who is created from half actual machine and half CGI covered man kneeling on top. It just blows the mind what these artists do in movies today!

Just beware that among the awesome pages of concept art for the exo-suits, the weapons, and vehicles is some very cringe-worthy concept art for the surgical scene where they attach Max’s exo suit. Yeesh.

The second part of the book centers on Elysium, and takes you through the first class version of appliances and robots, with a great section on logo design because something so prevalent today would still be going strong in 2159. And the final sections aren’t hugely descriptive but that’s probably to not give too much of the plot away.

Overall, this is the best of all of the film art books I’ve covered. It is equal parts awesome concept art and in-depth commentary and all in a beautiful book. Elysium comes highly Highly recommended for you to add to your sci-fi library.

I give Elysium: The Art of the Film Five Out of Five Stars



Elysium: The Art of the Film is available from Amazon! Here’s a link!

Elysium: The Art of the Film (Hardcover)

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Jess Orso
Written by Jess Orso

Jess is the Managing Editor and Southern Correspondent for