Monday, October 18, 2010

The Harryhausen Chronicles

If you love Ray Harryhausen, and who doesn't, you should check out The Harryhausen Chronicles. This short but informative documentary from 1998 was directed by Richard Schickel from Time Magazine.  It features interviews with such luminaries as Ray Bradbury (a lifelong friend of Harryhausen) and George Lucas. 
The film examines Harryhausen's childhood, and the one event that shaped his life, seeing King Kong for the first time.  Thanks to the support of his parents and his own incredible work ethic, Harryhausen was able to make a name for himself in Hollywood, even working with his idol, Willis O'Brian on Mighty Joe Young.  The documentary features all of Harryhausen's masterpieces, including my favorites Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.  The thing I found really fascinating about this documentary however was the shots of his early animation and test footage.  I had no idea that he had made a series of "fairy tales" that became his calling card.  Here is his last one, begun in 1952 and finished in 2002!  Enjoy, and check out this documentary!

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