Elysium: The Art of the Film Book Review: An In-Depth Look At Blomkamp’s World

In the wake of the successful District 9, director Neil Blomkamp is once again looking to try and score another great movie success again with Elysium, his summer blockbuster starring Matt Damon and Joide Foster. And despite the fact Elysium is getting somewhat knocked for its lackluster screenplay, it’s almost universally praised for its visuals and cinematography. Which isn’t surprising, seeing as Blomkamp showed his visual prowess with the particularly striking District 9 back in 2009.

Being that the film does rely heavily on great visuals and interesting design for its world building, there’s a lot of fascinating things to be learned about how much of the film’s visual design was conceived and the creative ways they employed in order to execute everything successfully.

That’s where Elysium: The Art of the Film becomes invaluable. Again, as with any well-made art book, The Art of the Film offers you page after page of concept sketches and paintings, discussions and diagrams of how much of the special effects are handled in the film, and even gives you glimpses of Blomkamp’s reasoning for much of the ideas and story beats for much of the film. It all gives you a taste of what you can expect from the film, all while refraining from giving away too many plot points. If you’re picking it up before seeing the actual film itself, beware: there are a few spoiler-y ideas presented and hinted at in the book that might make for a ruined experience at the movies.

For those unfamiliar, Elysium is a sci-fi action film that depicts a universe where the Earth lies in ruin and is home to the poor and lower-class citizens, while the more privileged in society have moved to Elysium, a space station where the wealthy can live free of pain and suffering thanks to its tranquil atmosphere and the medical technology available to them that allows people to be completely cured of any ailment.

When Max (Matt Damon), a dying man living on Earth, is given a chance for redemption, he undergoes a process that could potentially save his own life and bring equality to the social masses above and below. Much like District 9, the film attempts to use a sci-fi backdrop to both entertain and comment on the delicate social structure of today’s society. Check it out in theaters now.