Remembering Ray Harryhausen

American Cinematheque remembers the master of stop-motion.

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    Dig Medusa from the 1981 film "Clash Of The Titans?" Pay tribute to the memory of the masterful Ray Harryhausen at The Aero from June 6 through 15. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

    Many an innovative filmmaker lands in Southern California years after honing their craft elsewhere.

    But not Ray Harryhausen, an LA boy from the moment of his birth. That LA boy grew to be the undisputed, much-beloved, and much-copied master of moving tiny figures a millimeter at a time, and every slow-motion artist who came after owes his legacy a tremendous amount of gratitude.

    The Aero Theatre will be a fine place to consider that gratitude, and the filmmaker's legacy, when American Cinematheque pays tribute to Mr. Harryhausen with a series of some of his best works. The dates? June 6 through 15.

    The Visual Effects Society is also a host of the tribute, which comes a month after the artist's passing at the age of 92.

    The tribute will include many of the artist's commonly agreed-upon greatest hits -- think "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms," "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad," and "Jason & The Argonauts" -- while also featuring some World War II training shorts he created.

    Everyone short of the Harryhausen completist -- oh, and we know there are several of you out there -- will likely find something new inside the 10-day run.

    And we'll leave it to the Harryhausenists to determine how his Los Angeles roots lent him what he needed to become the greatest stop-motion master of all time. Perhaps it was growing up around all of those early films -- "King Kong" was a favorite of his -- that inspired him to innovate in this area.

    Above all, you know the gentleman had extreme patience and dedication to craft. It takes half a second to type the words "slow motion" but hours or even days to create a few seconds of film. That legacy is indeed worth honoring.

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