Book Review: Cinemaps: An Atlas Of 35 Great Movies
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Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies
Hardcover | Kindle
By Andrew DeGraff (Illustrations), A.D. Jameson (Essays)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: October 24, 2017

In the Introduction to his new book Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies, illustrator Andrew DeGraff (Plotted: A Literary Atlas) accurately describes how the children of the baby boomers grew up repeatedly watching films in the 70s and 80s, dissecting every second, learning dialogue, and analyzing all aspects. That’s a spot-on assessment of that generation, known as Generation X — of which I am one, as is DeGraff. Our generation grew up obsessed with movies at a time when there was no such thing as the Internet and Netflix where films are readily available at the touch of a button, so we really clung on to whatever we could access. That’s why an offering like Cinemaps, which visually delves into the minute details of all our favorite films, is such a treasure.

The artist goes on to explain that after tackling some map-making assignments, he decided to take it further by combining his love of maps and movies. That’s where Cinemaps comes in. The book features 35 maps for movies mainly from the 70s and 80s, the bulk of which are undoubtedly now considered classics, such as the original trilogies for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, and The Breakfast Club. But DeGraff actually starts this 160-page hardcover with a few films that influenced the ones to come, such as 1927’s Metropolis and the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock thriller South By Southwest. Completing the over-sized full-color book are maps for more recent fandom films, like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the 2004 zombie-comedy Shawn of the Dead, and even the 2014 surprise Marvel hit Guardians Of The Galaxy.

DeGraff not only peppers his beautiful landscapes with notable hot spots, but he also chronicles the characters’ journeys. For instance, for the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope, the map, titled “Paths Of Hope,” shows the Death Star, Yavin 4, Tattooine, and even the obliterated Alderaan, along with colored path lines for Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, C-3PO, and R2-D2 that show where they’ve been. Each film entry has the full print of the map, and then close-ups featuring portions of the geography.

For the character paths, when I got to Ghostbusters, I was like, oh please let the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man be there… bam, and there he is! It’s insertions like this that make this book so enjoyable.

To go along with the colorful, detailed maps is commentary by author A.D. Jameson (Giant Slugs, 99 Things to Do When You Have the Time that provides information on the films, such as what influenced their making and what motivates the characters, as well as points out their anomalies and inconsistencies (like Leia’s occasional British accent).

Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies takes a unique look at the worlds and character journeys from our favorite films, and will entice movie fans across generations with its visual tidbits and analytical essays.

This beautifully illustrated atlas of beloved movies is an essential reference for cinephiles, fans of great films, and anyone who loves the art of mapmaking.

Acclaimed artist Andrew DeGraff has created beautiful hand-painted maps of all your favorite films, from King Kong and North by Northwest to The Princess Bride, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, even The Breakfast Club””with the routes of major characters charted in meticulous cartographic detail. Follow Marty McFly through the Hill Valley of 1985, 1955, and 1985 once again as he races Back to the Future. Trail Jack Torrance as he navigates the corridors of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And join Indiana Jones on a globe-spanning journey from Nepal to Cairo to London on his quest for the famed Lost Ark. Each map is presented in an 11-by-14-inch format, with key details enlarged for closer inspection, and is accompanied by illuminating essays from film critic A. D. Jameson, who speaks to the unique geographies of each film.

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