This is a hell of a book. We’ve had some near-misses over the years (Alien Vault for one) as Alien continues to be hugely popular and generates such fascination to this day that every so often someone has felt like having a shot at it. Well, okay, the cynic in me suggests every so often people figure it’s time to make some more money out of the film, but as usual I digress. This time, they finally nailed it. God knows we’ve had so many books since the original Book of Alien, but this new book from J W Rinzler really is the definitive book about the movie. Its got all the old illustrations, pre-production paintings, storyboards etc that people will remember, and all sorts of new stuff too, imagery likely buried in boxes for all these decades. I haven’t finished reading the book yet but yeah, in the unlikely event that somehow you weren’t aware of this book being out, you really should get a copy if you’re even remotely interested in the film.
With all respect to Paul M. Sammon’s Future Noir book, this is the kind of book I would absolutely love to see about the making of Blade Runner. Sure, Future Noir has more information than anyone other than a BR nut could ever want, but it lacks the glorious, elegant presentation of books like this. Especially as the film is such a gorgeous visual spectacle. Its a funny thing that we haven’t seen that Blade Runner making-of book yet, but as Rinzler’s own Planet of the Apes book celebrated that films fiftieth anniversary, what the hell, there’s plenty of time for it to yet happen. There’s a rumour circulating that Rinzler is now working on a book on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which sounds absolutely fascinating.