Book Club / Culture

You can now purchase a photo book shot behind-the-scenes during ‘Poor Things’

If you're after more of Bella Baxter, we've got some news. Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone have announced yet another triumphant collaborative tour de force, but this time it's in book form. The director has released a photo-book chronicling the film production of Poor Things, and it's looking to be a doozy.


What does the book contain?

The book will feature stills from between takes taken on a large and medium format camera. With the aid of Stone, the two captured shots live from the set to develop later in a dark room. Despite the exhaustion, the duo pushed through. “The creative complicity I have with Emma added to the excitement of the task,” said Lanthimos. “One would push the other no matter how tired we were after a full day of filming to process the negatives in the evenings…”

“One day, I asked if I could try to load some negatives in the little tent he had set up, then moved on to the chemicals, and I became obsessed,” Stone says in a statement. “The high-stakes meditation of it is very special to me — you have to remain in control, you don’t want to screw up the pictures, and sure, they’re only pictures, but they’re his pictures, his art, not my own. It was like getting to be a sous chef, not dissimilar to how I feel with him on set, and I loved the challenge and focus of it.”

What is Poor Things about?

Based on Alasdair Gray's 1992 novel of the same name, the film follows a Frankenstein trajectory, with a femme-forward twist. Bella Baxter, whose body is brought back to life with the addition of a baby's brain, embarks on a steam-punk, sex-fuelled odyssey. Body horror and autonomy of self and mind are focalisers in the film. The visual index is both parts arresting and macabre, and there's an injection of gutsy humour as well. Cue: that scene when Bella attacks her guardian in a horse-drawn carriage. We're still clutching our sides.


What is the meaning behind the title?

Dear God, the Parthenon is still broken might sound like a mouthful. But its locational significance is anything but. God is the term Baxter assigns her guardian Frankenstein, played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. Diligent fans of the film will be able to recall that Poor Things is set in 19th century London, Lisbon, Marseille, and a cruise ship.  Yet the images in Lanthimos’ film add a new dimension independent of the film. In every way, it is “a body of work that can exist on its own,” the filmmaker announced. The book is published by Athens-based publication Void, adding another gratuitous layer to the titling.


Where can I buy the book?

Dear God, the Parthenon is still broken will be released in three separate versions. The first is just the book for $60 USD. While the Special Edition is only available in 100 copies, it includes a fine art print signed by Lanthimos for $392 USD. The Portfolio edition, limited to just 30 units (plus four APs) includes two fine art prints numbered and signed by Lanthimos for $1,580 USD.

The book is available for preorder online on the Void website.

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