Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ray Harryhausen!

I hear at Films in Review that today is Ray Harryhausen's birthday. They have an overview of his career so far, which includes this:
To those who may not know, Ray Harryhausen, known primarily for his stop motion special effects, is the auteur of approximately 18 feature films, many of which sprang, initially unscripted, from theme-based drawings created by him years before and put away before being eventually presented to his long-time producer, Charles Schneer. Among these is a small “children’s fantasy”, THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, which was the hit of 1958 and, in historical hindsight, truly changed everything.

The Guardian says, "The revered FX legend celebrated his 90th year at a star-studded BFI celebration. But this was no sycophantic wallow. He's someone who really changed film." The Press Association reports: "Movie veteran Ray Harryhausen is offering his life's work to the National Media Museum."

His official website is here. There are photos of his creations here. FilmReference.com says, "No one who works in science-fiction or fantasy films can escape the influence of Ray Harryhausen, and works as diverse as Flesh Gordon and The Empire Strikes Back draw upon techniques he perfected." Bright Lights Film Journal has an article and interview and says, "Harryhausen has unexpectedly come to rival Hitchcock (with whom he shared a favourite composer, Bernard Herrmann), as the filmmaker exerting the most influence on succeeding generations." Wikipedia has an article on him.

"every Ray Harryhausen animated creature in feature films, presented in chronological order":

I have blog posts on these:

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1954)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956))
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Mysterious Island (1961)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
First Men in the Moon (1964)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)

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