Today marks a sad day for me. For truly it is the end of an era of film and imagination. I am tearfully sad to remark that Ray Harryhausen has passed away from this world at the phenomenal age of 92. Words can not describe how his work has influenced not only my taste in film...but as well as my outlook on life. I can not help but smile when I think of the fabled heroes and worlds he has created. Such complex creatures that fought for darkness; as well as the light. For what is right and what is wrong.
I sit here typing this journal as a spur of the moment idea. Hoping to figure out, in some small way, how put what he has done in words. But that can not be so simply done. The man was a true visionary. A monolith of achievements that anyone could only hope to achieve in but a single lifetime. To this day I will sit and stare, wide eyed, at the rampaging Cyclops from the 7th Voyage of Sinbad. A hideous and brutish monster that's greed is only matched by his vile wickedness. As a child I was terrified at the gurgling and repulsive groans of the giant Octopus from IT Came From Beneath the Sea. And finally, I can sit and watch; with adult enthusiasm; the classic alien invasion Earth vs The Flying Saucers with both an appreciation for the art of the film's style....and it's historical context to how Sci-fi films are done in general.
That is probably the best way I can describe the man. He is the scholarly teacher that paves the road for others to learn and create. He is the creeping thing in the darkness that leaps out and terrifies you with the unknown. And he is the magician; a man who can create magic that you can simply not pull your eyes away from.
There are much more articulate and eloquent speakers who can voice on the man's behalf. More important figures in our society. Yet that is the idea behind Ray Harryhausen's work. It wasn't for the privileged. It wasn't for those with the vastly superior intellect. It was for everyone. Magic that still twinkles and burns in the hearts of all those who watch his films. And with each time, they feel that piece of innocence that they had in their youth when they first laid sight upon his work.
For this, I thank you good sir. You will always live on. As long as their is film and hearts who hold that dear, you will live on. I can not help but think of a perfect quote by the author Anais Nin, to help me close out this journal. "Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.".
You threw your dreams like a kite, Mr Harryhausen. And with it you have brought new life, love, and friends for everyone. Rest well good sir. You will be greatly missed