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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

RIP H.R. Giger (1940-2014)

Our tribute to a cruelly neglected aesthetic visionary who played an instrumental part in forging an icon.
It is with immense sadness that we must report the tragic passing of Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger, who died yesterday, May 12th in a medical facility in Switzerland. Best known for his work as a set and Visual Effects designer in the film industry, Giger was an artistic pioneer in every sense of the term, and as such, he represents a figure who will be deeply missed by his cohorts and his followers.

Like so many visionaries working behind the camera, Giger's influence upon several iconic character and prop designs has too frequently been overlooked, with any due credit instead being transferred to the film (or films) in question's director as if that individual had masterminded each and every visual element of his or her screen text. In fact, it was the Swiss artist and not Ridley Scott who led discussions on the aesthetic make-up of Alien's terrifying Xenomorph, and many would argue that Tim Burton's Batman Forever would have met with a far weaker critical reception had it not had Giger on hand to provide the drawings for its awe-inspiring new Batmobile. Such neglected successes as these represent but a fraction of the man's work, and whilst our belated appreciation can never raise him from beneath the ground, we can at least honour his memory by refusing to place such a blind emphasis on supposed filmic auteurs from this point onwards.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Hans' family and colleagues in this immensely challenging period of grief and consolation. As a final tribute to his illustrious work, we've included the original trailer for the 1979 movie Alien (which alludes to but a sample of his overall contribution) below.
Rest In Peace, Hans.

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