5 Incredibly Detailed Maps That Explore the Plotlines of Great Movies
Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies turns films into elaborate cartography.
Illustrator Andrew DeGraff has two passions: pop culture and cartography. DeGraff is famous for combining the two to create elaborate, imaginative treasure maps that represent the plots of legendary movies.
The maps are reminiscent of the elaborate cartography that often appears in the endpages of fantasy novels. Because if The Lord of the Rings novels have maps, why shouldn’t the films? DeGraff’s elaborate movie maps are now combined into a book called , a collection of dozens of his most detailed cinematic illustrations. Check out five of the maps from the book below.
1. JURASSIC PARK (1993)
Each of the cinemaps in the book took weeks—if not months—to complete. (The Lord of the Rings map, in particular, was a laborious process, eating up 1000 hours of DeGraff’s time.) In every map, color-coded paths track the journeys of the main characters through the story, with hidden Easter eggs left for die-hard fans.
2. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
As part of the research process, DeGraff watched each film between 20 and 50 times. He even included extensive versions of locations that were only partially shown in the film, like the LaSalle Street train station in Chicago where Cary Grant’s famous shaving scene in North by Northwest was set. The collection isn't limited to maps exploring movies from decades ago, though. He also mapped out films as recent as Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) or, above, 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. The book is organized by the movie's release date, making it feel like a journey through cinematic history.
3. THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987)
“I think of these paintings as scale models of summer blockbusters, diagramming a limited amount of time—usually 120 minutes—between the opening and closing credits,” DeGraff writes in the book. “As viewers and fans, we’ve traveled every inch of these journeys before. We’ve trekked through the forest and the jungles, we’ve soared past the planets and the space stations. Yet we keep returning to these worlds again and again.” Can you find the sword fight in The Princess Bride map above? (Hint: It's at the top.)
4. STAR TREK (2009)
“With these maps, we can view our favorite films from a fresh perspective,” DeGraff writes. “We can travel the familiar journeys in new and unfamiliar ways.” There certainly are a lot of opportunities for unfamiliar journeys, even if you're a movie buff. The maps may not seem inherently intuitive, with character interactions and development visualized as criss-crossing arrows. To translate jumps in time in movies like Star Trek, for instance, he illustrated a series of black holes to trace a path for Spock and Nero through the map's timeline.
5. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
Each map in the book is accompanied by an essay on the film in question by A.D. Jameson, who teaches film studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Captions and cut outs highlight particular areas of interest in the landscapes, like the detailed view inside the Royal Palace of Oz in The Wizard of Oz map.