Review: Good Movies As Old Books HC
This will be a relatively quick review as this is an art book, but it's such a great project that I wanted to put a spotlight on it. This was a Kickstarter project that was launched back in May and was very quickly funded. Its creator, Matt Stevens, is a designer and illustrator who sought to challenge himself during the pandemic.
"My Good Movies as Old Books series combines my love of film and old book art. As a professional designer and illustrator, I took on the project as an exercise to help me out of a creative funk and as a way to experiment with new mediums and techniques. After doing a few entries the project took on a life of its own and I became excited about continuing to explore new ideas and reinterpret movies from my life that I have a deep affection for. "
The range and multitude of styles that Stevens gives homage to with his selection is incredibly engaging. From worn out paperback cover designs reminiscent of Rudolph de Harak to more vintage design work you would expect to see on books published from the 1820s, Stevens gives us an eclectic selection of aesthetic choices that feeds off of popular cinema culture.
You're not going to find too many books that can justify bouncing from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Panos Cosmatos' Mandy, Fargo, and the Iron Giant that somehow maintains a cohesive visual language that's engaging and provoking. But like, look, there's Pee-Wee. And it's awesome.
The addition of different book textures and the worn in quality to all of these books gives this project a distinct feeling, as if you're looking through a portal into a slightly adjacent reality that had better advertising and art departments for their famous movies.
The only negative that I can give, and I don't even really want to give it, is that this is an expensive HC in comparison to other art books. The $50 price point is for a 8"x10" hardcover that's 124 full color pages. It's fantastically done though, and keep in mind this is a creator owned project. Large publishers can get away with charging $30-50 for 300+ page art books as they plan to get those out in bulk. Here you're paying for a singular vision and effort and it's more than well worth it.
If you love movies and you love books and you love art books, this is the perfect amalgamation of all of those things.
You can purchase directly from Matt Stevens, and can even select individual movies and just get art prints of your favorites. Check out: