“He is the father of all we do today in science fiction, fantasy and adventure.” STEVEN SPIELBERG
The remarkable career of the movie industry’s most admired and influential special-effects auteur who sadly passed away last month, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Gilles Penso’s definitive documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. After being critically by British reviewers in its theatrical debut in London late last year the film has been scheduled for local release on Blu-ray and DVD in Australia and New Zealand through Umbrella Entertainment on October 2nd.
Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen’s seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more. These filmmakers, who today push the boundaries of special effects movie-making, pay tribute to the grandfather of Stop Motion animation and films such as ‘The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms’, ‘It Came From Beneath The Sea’, ‘The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad’, ‘Mysterious Island’, ‘Jason And The Argonauts’ and ‘The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad’ – the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right.
The interviews are combined with archival footage and contemporary clips of Harryhausen’s films but also those of his pupils (including Cameron and Spielberg’s blockbusters Avatar and E.T.), plus behind-the-scenes footage, stills and original drawings. In addition to the 90-minute film, the producer Arrow Films in conjunction with the Harryhausen Foundation have created five hours of additional footage as bonus material for this release.
United Kingdom film critics’ review excerpts have been overwhelming:
“The ingenious Harryhausen…was the definition of an auteur-technician.” – Financial Times
“The stop-motion maestro gets the respect he deserves” – Guardian Guide
“It’s good to see Harryhausen get the praise he deserves” – Independent On Sunday
“His old-school movie monsters are all that’s needed to press home his genius…” London Mail On Sunday
“A continual delight” – The Observer
“A REAL treat for fans of fantasy cinema” – Sunday Mirror
“A film that near bursts with infectious excitement for one of the giants of cinema” – Sunday Times