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Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film Hardcover – September 17, 2011
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“This book I truly believe lives up to it’s title, this is the definitive source on the making of Alien. It is superbly written and I can say that for any fan of the film they need to add this book to their collection.”
YES! Weekly (print and online), October 26, 2011
io9, October 20, 2011
About the Author
Ian Nathan, who lives and works in London, has been a film writer, producer, broadcaster, and magazine editor for twenty years. As executive editor of Empire, the world's leading film magazine, he is allowed to feed his passions on a daily basis: generating, editing, and writing articles as a thinly veiled excuse to provide the world with his opinions.
Like any healthy cinema obsessive, he grew up on James Bond, Indiana Jones, and sneaking into horror movies when he was tall enough. it has grown into a magnificent obsession with everything from Hitchcock to Kurosawa, from arcane film theory to picking your favorite Harrison Ford punch. He has had the immense good fortune of traversing the globe, interviewing the great and good: watching the godlike Steven Spielberg at work, eating ice cream with Peter Jackson and a tableful of orcs, buying Sigourney Weaver breakfast, and behing hugged by both Oliver Stone and Kate Winslet, not a once.
Nathan has regularly contributed to books; newspapers such as the London Times and Independent; and magazines; had a weekly radio show; and produced TV documentaries and award ceremonies. The work of Sir Ridley Scott, in particular the extraordinary Alien, has been seminal in inspiring him to what film could be, and how much there is to discover within it.
Top customer reviews
Some other reviewers said that this book contains things already discussed many, many times before elsewhere, but still for one latecomer like me remain fascinated to discover the real story of how the alien concept came to be. The book is filled with polaroids from the making of the movie. The retro feelings make you appreciate how the filmmaker went all out to make this film in the 70's. This was a time when cheesiness was still reigning and Star Wars was the new undisputed champion of blockbuster movies. They obviously took a leap faith in ushering Alien to the opposite tone of the cheery Star Wars.
The book comes with a slipcase and pouches filled with small goodies like the Nostromo logo sticker, blueprints of the spaceships, Giger's Alien designs, etc. Nice touches on the goodies, but I'm more into the book's information than these small gimmicks.
All in all, the Alien Vault is informative and inspiring without being too tedious. Though not perfect in the structuring the contents, it is a valuable resource to sci-fi fans in general, and especially the Alien xenomorph aficionados.
I love many films in many ways, and it's hard (and really rather pointless) to try to identify any movie as my "favorite;" but "Alien" comes as close as any. In the 32 years since its release, I've probably seen it at least 30 times; I usually watch it at least once a year. The recent release of the film and its sequels on the Blu-Ray format was a major event for me.
So, with my bona fides as an "Alien" buff established, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There are a few puzzling omissions (for example, Nathan completely ignores the fact that one of the original concepts for "Alien," a story called "B-17," was animated and then refitted with the story arc of the movie "Heavy Metal" for inclusion in that film). There may be little if any new ground broken with the book, but it would probably be hard to find any major new revelations on a three decade-old production. Having all of that information in a single volume with the durable presentation of this book is worthwhile enough; and in any case, there were enough interesting if small tidbits scattered through the text to make it a highly enjoyable read. I loved the ship blueprints and script pages. The original marketing concepts were a hoot. And I'm trying to find the perfect spot to put my Nostromo patch sticker.
Alien Vault is most likely best enjoyed by obsessives or semi-obsessives like me; but every book has its ideal audience. I have no idea how popular the original movie remains at large, and how many out there like me might love this book. But we know who we are, and for us, this is a must-have.
Second, this book exceeded expectations. My brother LOVES "Alien" and has watched it well over 50 times. He has watched the other movies many, many times, too, but this one is his favorite. This book far exceeded its price in value. My brother LOVES the book. It has lots of surprises in it which also added to its value. THIS was a successful Christmas present!!