Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie House of Memory:Myth, Motion, and Honor Blackman!



Doodles of Corinthian helmets peppered my school notebook; my vote for a identifying nickname for RR's Jr. high (The Spartans) was used. RR was ready to see Jason and the Argonauts . Ray Harryhausen's models moved, unlike the static shelf sitters young RR built.


"Dimensional stop-motion animation" was created by Willis O'Brien, best known for King Kong, (the original). Tedious work: build a model; pose the model;take the shot, move the Hydra, Harpy, or army of the dead sown from teeth; move it again. Repeat many times.Ray Harryhausen created many dynamic creatures in his movies. They demand the big screen .Their power holds up well; I recently watched Jason after many years. The skeletons fighting Jason and two companions sequence took four months to film, each tiny shield of the army of the dead bearing a picture of a previous Harryhausen creation. Unlike modern CGI, Harryhausen's creations have weight (thank you, Burly Man!) and do not violate kinesiologic principles.

Harryhausen monkeyed with the myth ; to a young RR pagan theologic quibbles did not matter.The Hydra,looted from Hercules' story (played by a manly Nigel Green) was a cool effect,though Talos chasing Herc and Hylas impressed the most. And the ship, the Argos, with a statue of Hera,Honor Blackman looking swell, guiding the argonauts' way. RR has also seen the Sinbad movies with Harryhausen's work on the big screen, as well as his science fiction creations on television;Jason and his brave crew are the favorites of memory.
Next, a different work : The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece.

2 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

You'll need to delve into the bowels of the IMDB for this one but Honor Blackman was a very early crush - almost pre-puberty. She appeared in "A boy, a girl and a bike" set in the Yorkshire Dales and revolving round the very modest excitements of belonging to a cycling club. I lived on the fringe of the Dales and cycled there too. I seem to remember she wore a polo-neck jumper then as she later did as Pussy Galore in "Goldfinger". It suited her and it suited me as an impressionable - very! - viewer. Having just checked up the details I find I am all over the place: ABAGAB is dated 1949 when I was 14, so hardly pre-pubertal. Her character name was Susie Bates which suggests that the script was hardly a marvel of invention.

Relucent Reader said...

Thank you for the comment, BB.
I will have to look her up. IMDB is a favorite site and La Brea tar pit for RR.I saw a presumably recent(her hair was gray; her eyes still have that pull) photo of Honor Blackman in Google image search results. A significant area of her cheek and eye socket was bruised ,and Miss Blackman had a beaut of a shiner.
I will seek other Blackman titles. Yours sounds interesting--I like to see actors in early roles.
Regards.