Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ray Harryhausen coming to Dallas!

Got wind of this from a friend a couple days ago, and today the official announcement is online. Woohoo! Can't wait for this one! I've still gotta post some stuff from the Brad Bird event last fall. Not sure when I'll get to that...hopefully soon.

3 comments:

Paul said...

I was at a Ray Harryhausen event in Los Angeles and the guy is fascinating and funny. Don't miss it.

Bob Merkin said...

i was ten when i sat in a dark movie theater and saw The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Absolutely never got over that.

The producer Schneer said in a documentary that they were very lucky to find Kerwin Mathews. Very few actors can swordfight against nothing and look sincere and believeable on screen. Mathews had that skill.

The scimitar fight between Sinbad and the grinning skeleton is still the most thrilling sequence I've ever seen. A half-century of fancier super FX hasn't diminished it in the least.

In fact, for the ultimate goal -- emotionally grabbing the viewer, making the viewer care rather than yawn -- computer animation really sucks compared to what Harryhausen and Willis O'Brien did. What's a comparably thrilling Sinbad or 33Kong Moment in computer animation? What's a computer animation moment you'll never forget, that you could watch over and over and over again?

A few years ago a 5-year-old boy found my Sinbad soundtrack CD (you can talk as much about the brilliance of Bernard Herrmann as you can about Harryhausen, and Sinbad's one of his best scores) and demanded to know what the heck it was. So I bought Sinbad and we sat on the couch and watched it. I haven't seen a kid's eyeballs pop out since ... well, since my eyeballs popped out. He must have watched it 50 times. We had to buy him a plastic scimitar and he ran around the house for hours battling "The Crops" -- which was the best he could do to pronounce Cyclops.

From the land beyond beyond
From the world past hope and fear
I bid you Genie now appear!

Justin Barrett said...

Thanks for the comment, Bob. You shared some great experiences there, but I disagree with you on one point: "In fact, for the ultimate goal -- emotionally grabbing the viewer, making the viewer care rather than yawn -- computer animation really sucks compared to what Harryhausen and Willis O'Brien did."

Emotionally grabbing the viewer has nothing to do with CG or stop-motion animation, or even live-action. It isn't about the method. It's about the message. It's about the story and characters. There are moments in all kinds of movies -- animated and non -- that have moved me in various ways. It's cool to hear that you were moved by Harryhausen's work. I respect his work and his place as a pioneering filmmaker, but I have yet to be so moved by his films. Hopefully it'll click one of these days.