We already talked this week about giving books as teen gifts; they need to be something special if you want them to be read and cherished rather than plopped on a shelf and ignored. For gamers, the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Art Book is a surefire hit. But if you happen to own a film buff, then the The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road is probably one of the best Coffee Table Art Film Books I’ve ever seen, and is guaranteed to have them deeply engrossed within minutes.
I’ll admit I’m not a massively huge fan of the film (it was okay, but I didn’t breathe an awed ‘wow’ at the end) – but I haven’t been able to stop dipping into this book; the details are astonishing, and I have a new-found admiration of the makers of it (and actually would like to go watch it again now…).
The sections of the book cover all the areas you want to know about, from the vehicles through to the main characters. Obviously the vehicles are an a huge part of the film, and they’re all looked at; the War Rig, Gigahorse, Big Foot and others from the main chase pursuit vehicles. The vehicle designs are really amazing.
As always, it’s fascinating seeing the original concept art alongside the final construction that made it into the site – it’s remarkable how the Buzzard cars translated almost exactly from a cartoon idea into the spiked vehicles we see on the screen.
The characters and tribes are also looked at in some detail, and though there are obviously large parts dedicated to Max, Furiosa and Immortan Joe, other supporting roles are also talked through. I loved the surprisingly complex character of Nux, and his background story really added depth to the film character.
The section on Immortan Joe, and the development of his facial apparatus is also fascinating. Once again, watching the concept art and designs translate into shots on set are really eye-opening.
I loved that the Wives and the Vuvalini are given due space, and it’s fabulous to read comments from the actresses themseleves on the characters they portrayed.
The discussion into the setting and the geographical landscape itself was also fascinating – I had believed they filmed the chase scenes in the Australian outback, but apparently it was in the flats of Namibia that they found the exact geographical plain they had been hunting for.
Unlike a lot of Art books, the text accompanying the fabulous imagery is lengthy and informative, talking about the mechanics and technical issues of the filming itself, discussing the depth of the characters and their impact on the plot, obviously the vehicle development is a major part too – it’s a fantastic inside guide to a film that is so persistently taut and fast-moving that it’s incredibly easy to miss things.
The book is a fascinating insight into the creation of such a huge scale movie, and any budding film buffs will love to as much for the discussion of camera angles as film fans will for learning that Tom Hardy did a lot of his own stunts.
The book’s author and producers were granted on-set access and photographs in order to create this book – and it shows in every single page that the author was right there when it was happening. Absolutely brilliant book, and our TOP recommendation this Christmas – just buy it.
If you nip over to Amazon, The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road is currently available for a smidge under £20 and can be with you tomorrow if you have Prime.