After all, it's just a ride….

RIP Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

Not wanting to start on a narcissistic point but there I was thinking that this was a pretty good day for a Tuesday and then the sad news started circulating. The term legend is bandied around in this industry with careless abandon but Harryhausen was a talent equal of the hagiography, a gentle and nice fellow by all accounts who assisted many young protegés to break into this industry. Many of his images are indelibly seared on the imaginations of a generation of filmmakers, and just consider the roll call of cinema behemoths he has clearly inspired – James Cameron, Tim Burton, Frank Darabont, Guilermo Del Toro, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, George A Romero, Peter Jackson and a couple of small-scale Americans by the names of George and Steve;

As Kim Newman recently remarked and please forgive the paraphrasing but ‘contemporary monster or fantastical element movies take hundreds of digital artisans and millions of dollars to craft, Ray did it all on his own and transformed the industry’ – who else has equally that lofty achievement? Here’s his lifelong friends Ray Bradbury’s recent video message, now if you’ll excuse me it’s got a little dusty in here;

I couldn’t possibly best my BFI Tribute report from 2010, easily one of the best events I’ve ever attended at the Southbank, with a genuine and heartfelt sense of occasion and tribute which really hasn’t been equalled since – you can see some of that here, and go watch a monster movie as a mark of respect;


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