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I owe the wonder of one of my earliest cinematic memories to legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen. I was spellbound by Clash of the Titans from start to finish, which was also one of the first times I experienced that intoxicating combination of being amazed and thoroughly frightened at the same time. Between marvelously monstrous Medusa and clumsily charming little clockwork Bubo, I was well and truly ensorcelled, hooked on Harryhausen from then on. Each subsequent Harryhausen film that I discovered was a pleasure, full of magnificent monsters and hordes of bloodthirsty skellington warriors. That pleasure grew as I myself grew older and learned about Harryhausen’s pioneering special effects and appreciated the artistry, skill, and seemingly endless patience behind stop-motion animation.
So I was thrilled to run across the news that Harryhausen’s iconic models have been painstakingly restored to help celebrate his 99th birthday this year. They will also be featured next year at the largest and broadest exhibition of Harryhausen’s work to date: Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema.
From Creative Boom: Vanessa Harryhausen is currently writing a book to accompany next year’s landmark exhibition, to give her own perspective on her father’s ground-breaking career and collection. It will mark the first time Vanessa has spoken about her father’s work in such detail and will include a personal biography of her father, from the beginnings (in the 1930s) through to projects he was working on just less than a decade ago.
She said: “Our plans to celebrate Dad’s centenary at the National Galleries in Edinburgh are so exciting; if he was still around, he would be so enthused by all of our plans for 2020! It’s wonderful that we are able to display so much of Dad’s collection: the space at the Galleries gives us great scope to display as many of his models and artworks as possible, as well as personal items which have never been exhibited before, such as his equipment and tools.”
Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema opens at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on May 23, 2020.
Photos © The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation Photography: Sam Drake (National Galleries of Scotland)
[via Creative Boom]