Originally Posted by Kilgore
I am going to watch Jason and the Argonauts Blu-ray with the Ray Harryhausen (with Tony Dalton) audio commentary on. The skeleton sequence alone is miraculous, and has more charm than virtually all of the CG special effects extravaganzas made in the last 30 years, IMHO.
Ray Harryhausen is as important to the history of cinema as any of the greats like Hitchcock, Chaplin, Griffith, Welles, Murnau, Kurosawa, Bergman, etc, etc... The debt owed this genius can never be repaid.
In the Keanu Reeves hosted documentary on film vs digital, Side By Side
, Martin Scorsese voices a concern that the digital/CGI approach loses something in translation because it isn't "real". Later, when Scorsese's concern is suggested to James Cameron, Cameron laughingly dismisses the whole idea of anything in the making of a movie being "real", thereby implying that CGI critters floating in cyberspace are every bit as "real" as those Ray Harryhausen models. Also, by logical extension, Cameron seems to believe the newer technology is, if anything, an obvious improvement on what we had before in terms of credibility, effectiveness and dramatic impact.
Except that it isn't. The Harryhausen creations were real things that existed (and many still exist) in the real world subject to weight, mass and gravity, regardless of how much smaller they actually are than depicted in the movies, and their movements were the result of the direct manipulation of the hand of Man. I believe the human brain can assess the difference between a moving image of something that actually exists in the real world in that way vs something floating in cyberspace in less than a nanosecond and appreciates the art and drama of the real thing in a very different way than the CGI thing. IMO, it is appreciated in a superior way for the purposes of drama. I also believe Cameron's laughing off the suggestion that there is anything more "real" about an actual built set, a sculpted model, or a human manipulated critter ignores a truth about Cameron's own work; the horror and suspense effect of the puppets and men in rubber suits in his own pre-CGI Aliens
is far superior to this very day than anything depicted in his own CGI-generated Avatar
Decades from now audiences will still be amazed and impressed, gasping at the entrance and action of a multitude of Ray Harryhausen critters while they will mostly yawn at next year's, not even last year's , CGI critters and action.