Q4 2020

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74 C I N E M O N T A G E B O O K R E V I E W By Betsy McLane M any books are described as well-made or lavishly illus- t r a t e d , b u t t h o s e e f f u s i v e labels are not adequate to describe the richness of words and images that fills the pages of "Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema." At least 10 books about Harry- hausen's work exist, but this imposing volume offers more than any other for two reasons. The first is the gorgeous quality of its production. Published as the catalogue that accompanies a new Harryhausen exhibit at The Nation - al Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, "Titan of Cinema" meets the high stan- dards of the very best art and museum books. The second reason is that its au- thor is Harryhausen's daughter, Vanessa Harryhausen, who provides an intimate look at the f ilmmaker, his work , his friends and family, as well as his ongo- ing influence on cinema. Th e D i a n a a n d R a y H a r r y h a u s e n Foundation was set up in 1986 to look after his vast collections. As the Founda- tion website states, "It is estimated that there are in excess of 50,000 items in the collection, including original armatured models, hard rubber stand-in models, armatures, original moulds, original artwork, original miniatures, stills, neg- atives, original equipment, paperwork, screenplays, various test and dailies footage, books and many influences, such as paintings and lithographs by Gustav Dore, John Martin and Willis O'Brien." Vanessa, who is a Foundation trustee, selected 100 objects that are meaningful to her for this 2020 exhibtion on the cen- tennial of Ray's birth . The combination of her insights with the elegance of its production make "Titan of Cinema" a book to treasure. Harryhausen's stop-motion anima- tion creations are legendary, and his films are touchstones in the science fiction and fantasy universes. Mythic beings, tigers, skeletons, dinosaurs, alligators, and ev- ery sort of monster written into a script – all began life in his imagination, then moved forward through his sketches and storyboards, were made into detailed models, and came to the screen through Harryhausen's ingenious animation techniques. When he died in 2013, the Harryhausen Foundation's Facebook page was studded with tributes. George Lucas said that without Harryhausen, "There would likely have been no 'Star Wars,'" Peter Jackson wrote that "Lord of the Rings" is his "Ray Harryhausen m o v i e ." H a r r y h a u s e n's l o n g l i s t o f awards includes a special BAFTA, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Remember the Titan INSIDE THE MAGICAL WORLD OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, WHO INSPIRED GEORGE LUCAS, PETER JACKSON AND OTHERS Ray Harryhausen.

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