Book Review: Blade Runner 2049 - Interlinked - The Art by Tanya Lapointe

A terrific book that gives fans a look at the concept art behind one of the most visually arresting films ever made.
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I remember back in 2017, after I had just exited the IMAX presentation of Blade Runner 2049, being absolutely stunned by what director Denis Villeneuve had accomplished. A sequel to a film from 30 years prior is rarely a success, but Villeneuve managed to craft something that is mesmerizing and bold. The cinematography by Roger Deakins, who finally won his first Oscar for his work here, is breathtaking and stays on the screen long enough for the viewer to get absorbed into the Blade Runner world.

With Blade Runner 2049 - Interlinked - The Art, author Tanya Lapointe (Villeneuve’s wife) takes fans back to the gorgeous imagery and lays out in great detail the concept art behind some of the most memorable scenes and many of the props and production design of the movie.

The introduction has an interview quote from George Hull, the conceptual designer of the film. He details how he took the time to study Villeneuve’s work while the director was working on Arrival. He then partnered with production consultant Aaron Haye and both felt that they needed to keep the film as close to the original as possible. It’s an achievement they were able to pull off successfully, but his words also express the nervous feeling they both felt when working on the film.

One of the most important aspects of the film is the spinner that K (Ryan Gosling) drives around in throughout the movie. The book shows early concepts of the movie as well as what it was looking like before the final product was created. Peter Popken, the conceptual artist who brought the spinner to life, noted that they made the car a character of the film as opposed to being just another fantasy image of a flying car that is seen often in sci-fi movies. One of the cool things about this section is, when the spinner for Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) was created, the designers created a license plate that was made using a UPC code. If you take your phone’s scanner, you can actually scan the code and it will reveal a special text.

There is a lot of information and art within the 223-page book that Blade Runner fans will gush over. The book doesn’t just throw in a bunch of images and interview snippets; it also goes deeper into the detail of how everything came together. Whether it’s the spinners, the blaster that K uses, the desolate landscape of a dystopian Las Vegas and Los Angeles, or the design of the Wallace Corporation, Blade Runner 209 - Interlinked - The Art gives those who love the film and those who are interested in the moviemaking aspect a lot to digest. It’s an excellent look at a film that may not have been a financial success, but it’s one that will certainly have legs to build up a fan base for years to come.

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