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Peter Martin
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Posted: 29 June 2020 at 6:31pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Stop motion legend Ray Harryhausen was born on 29 June 1920, one hundred years ago today.

In celebration, TCM is showing a bunch of his films (starting with the 7th Voyage of Sinbad, on right now!).

When I was growing up, Star Wars was about the most exciting thing in my world. Watching films on TV with FX by Harryhausen were about the only thing that came close (later comics would play a similar role). Like someone had taken all the exciting stuff I'd read about in stories and then brought it to life so that I could actually see it walk, and breathe and swing a club at a band of brave warriors.


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Doug Centers
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Posted: 29 June 2020 at 7:14pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Seeing a Harryhausen film really taps into that original fascination with fantasy/ adventure and special effects.

I hearken back to those early seventies drive-in outings. Just couldn't get enough!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 30 June 2020 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Harryhausen is among my all-time favorite creators. I
just happened to have watched CLASH OF THE TITANS a
couple days ago, a favorite since I was a kid. Might
have to pop in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS soon.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 June 2020 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINDBAD introduced me to Harryhausen's work. The Cyclops blew me away. I could not wait to get home to try to duplicate it in plasticine. I was 8, and not entirely successful!

(When I was about 16, the local channel in Calgary used to show movies at the lunch hour. Usually cut to ribbons to add commercials. One day they showed JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and in order to cram in as many ads as they could they cut all the special effects scenes. I kid you not.)

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 01 July 2020 at 12:15am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think of Harryhausen as in a hierarchy of celluloid wizards... Georges Melies, Willis O'Brien, George Pal, and Ray Harryhausen. Jason And The Argonauts is one of those rare perfect films of almost overwhelming wonder like the original 1933 King Kong, and I'm sure for many, Star Wars. All the CGI money in the world can not seem to equal the significant art feeling from even Melies' A Voyage To the Moon in my opinion (although Finding Nemo for me gets there, but that's because it's really not about the tools after all).
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 01 July 2020 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I was surprised to learn that Harryhausen
worked for George Pal -- early in both their
careers, Harryhausen decided Puppetoons was
not the way he wanted to animate.

His work show that the old proverb about what
the audience imagines being better than what
the movie can show isn't universal. Not
having to hide inadequacies of implementation,
he showed off his designs early, often, and
clearly. As a friend said, he doesn't make
you wait an hour into the movie for what you
came to see.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 July 2020 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Watched JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS last night (and finished
this morning). Great movie. The skeletons are rightly
considered among the best, if not THE best, of all
Harryhausen's effects. The physics and interactions
with the real actors are almost pitch perfect.
Something modern CGI still can't get correct.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 July 2020 at 9:48am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

CGI often has no WEIGHT to it. No sense of gravity.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 July 2020 at 10:27am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Exactly. Something the modern whipper snappers could
definitely learn more about from their predecessors (or
science teachers...).
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 02 July 2020 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It wasn't until the end credits of SPIES LIKE US did I realized that he had a cameo appearance as one of the doctors (along with Terry Gilliam and Derek Meddings).

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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 02 July 2020 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

One of my more recent purchases was the The Art of Ray Harryhausen.  If you're a fan of his, I wholeheartedly recommend it!  It's one of those books that's savored over time.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 04 July 2020 at 6:18am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Watched a doc on him last night, pretty good, with chronological movie by movie commentary by Ray.
That triggered me to watch his early fairy tale shorts. Movements are so smooth even at this stage in his career.
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