Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Outland (1981)

John Mollo, Costume Designer, gave propmaker; Andrew Ainsworth a free hand to produce the helmets and backpacks for this futuristic feature.  Like the whole of the film, the look is functional and lived-in with a dirty realism.   After all the story takes place on a mining colony on Io, Jupiter’s moon, where the men are extracting titanium from the airless vacuum of the planet’s surface so anything too swish or shinny is going to break the tone.  It’s not really sci-fi we’re selling here.
This is High Noon in Space with Sean Connery as the heal-digging-in sheriff who's going to make a stand and a difference.  And that star-casting is perhaps one of the reasons that there are a lot of little lights inside the helmet.  If you’re paying for Connery then you need to be able to see Connery behind the visor!
Watching this when it first came out bored me to distraction but you get a little older, tastes mature and now I happen to think it’s a minor classic with a timeless plot that translates through any genre.
The suits are not the most stunning ever designed but they went on to appear in a few other films and a British Airways TV commercial.


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