Category: dinosaurs

Land before time: 11 great prehistoric flicks

On March 8, moviegoers will jump back in time to an age of mammoths, saber-tooth cats and Stone Age humans fighting for survival in “10,000 BC,” the latest movie from director Roland Emmerich. It probably won’t be a paragon of scientific accuracy, judging by Emmerich’s previous track record on “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Godzilla.” But Hollywood has a history of mining prehistory for entertainment value over archaeological exactness — or, as legendary animator Ray Harryhausen once put it, “professors probably don’t go to the cinema anyway.” To extend your travels through the ancient world, here are some earlier high points of Hollywood’s trips back to the ages of cavemen and dinosaurs.

Originally published on March 10, 2008. Read the complete article.

Interview: Ray Harryhausen

Ray HarryhausenStop-motion animation has been around since the silent-movie days, but no one has put a personal stamp on the technique like Ray Harryhausen. In 16 movies from 1949′s Mighty Joe Young to 1981′s Clash Of The Titans, Harryhausen gave life to an entire zoo’s worth of fearsome monsters, including the giant octopus which destroys the Golden Gate Bridge in It Came From Beneath The Sea, the carnivorous dinosaurs of One Million Years B.C. and The Valley Of Gwangi, and, from his most memorable film, Jason And The Argonauts, the colossal guardian Talos and the homicidal, sword-wielding skeletons. It’s rare for a special-effects artist to be the real driving force behind a movie, but Harryhausen’s contributions often dominated the shaping of his films. He achieved this while working mostly alone and under the pressures of low-budget filmmaking—Titans‘ $16 million budget was more than the total cost of his previous collaborations with producer Charles Schneer, his partner for the bulk of his career. Just before embarking for America, where he’ll be touring through early May, Harryhausen talked with The A.V. Club about his life and his new book The Art Of Ray Harryhausen, which looks back at his career from his high-school days building mammoths out of his mother’s discarded fur coat to his latest work as a bronze sculptor.

Originally published on March 21, 2006. Read the complete article.

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