'...holes of all description, holes in the ground, holes in the head, ass-holes, etc. I’m still not sure what they were for but they’re great nonetheless.'
H. R. Giger's Film Design is a large format book that offers an insight into the artist’s film projects. Much of it will already be well known to fans, his work on Dune, Poltergeist II, etc, but knowing about a thing and exploring the genesis of a thing are very different experiences.
It covers a wide range of work, from short films, lengthy personal projects to music videos and even furniture building. But the real treasure is when it goes into detail about the films that didn't make it past the design stage. There’s one in particular that has the potential to equal David Cronenberg at his most bizarre; it’s both repulsive and tantalising in equal measure. The only problem is the budget required to do it justice could buy a small country. In truth, I’d rather it never get made than get it half-assed.
There’s a lot of space devoted to his involvement with the Alien franchise. Seeing him working on models and sculpts, getting a sense of scale and seeing the evolution from sketch to 1:1 model is fascinating. The film was his most commercially successful from a production design point of view and is the one that stuck most faithfully to his designs. You’d think that thick-as-shit Hollywood producers would have made that connection by now. Instead they pay him for sketches and then continually change them to better suit their own weak ideals.
Which brings me nicely to the only negative aspect of the book. There’s some duplication with the similarly sized Species Design volume that came out the same year. If you already own it then you'll be able to skip that chapter.
5 good intentions out of 5