Harryhausen and the Cephalopods

Nice collection of early stop-motion animations by the great Ray Harryhausen.

Arguably, Ray Harryhausen’s creations aren’t the most realistic in the realm of special effects, nor will his films ever join the ranks of cinema’s classics. Yet Ray’s touch can be instantly recognized. His creations are absolutely alive; in each frame his creatures move, twitch, breathe, act with a personality and pathos that can only be ascribed to a direct connection to Ray.

CyclopsThe samples are brief, but quickly raise memories of lazy Sunday afternoons watching TV at cousins’ and friends’ houses in the 1970s, when this flavor of model/miniature animation was already old, but was new to me. Today the line between what’s real and what’s not in cinema is not only blurry, it’s gone. But through most of film history, the line was clear as day, so more suspension of disbelief was required on the part of the viewer. I think there’s something valuable in that. And also something enjoyable.

Update: Video collage of some of Harryhausen’s work (via Weblogsky):

Music: Stereolab :: Harmonium

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