Ray Harryhausen Presents: The Pit and the Pendulum (2006)Director
:.........Marc LougeeWritten by
:......Matt TaylorNarrated by
.....Peter CugnoProduced by:
Jon Campfens....executive producer
Peter Denomme....executive producer
Fred Fuchs....executive producer
Ray Harryhausen....executive producer
Arnold Kunert....co-producerOriginal Music by
This retelling takes a few liberties in the telling of Poe's frightening tale, but far less than any telling so far, leaving a bare bones but chilling story.
The main feature is a great example of the near lost, but possibly re-surging(?) art of stop-motion animation.
At a run time of around 7 minutes we hear and see the tale of a poor soul who, like many others, has been caught under the wheels of one of the darkest of times, the time of the inquisitions.
Falsely imprisoned our hero finds himself in a world of darkness, despair and death.
Being a fan of stop-motion and especially of Ray Harryhausen, I was easily drawn to Marc Lougee and this film. Impressive as any attempt at this form of animation, I was particularly taken by the over all work of PatP
. The sets where dark and foreboding, the music equally so. Philip Stanger does a fantastic job of setting the moods without over whelming the story. The puppets themselves were impressive and the motion smooth.
The DVD loses nothing. If anything it gains. The picture is crystal clear and the sound? The sound is Dolby 5.1 surround! You are in the pit. You can hear the pendulum swing across your room.
The digital media is at least partly to blame for the lack of model work and puppets in films. It becomes harder to mask the fingerprints and the slight imperfections that used to be invisible to film and the transfer to tape. Now with all digital transfers and high definition TV the artist that still look to pursue this medium are forced to hone the craft and become better and better. PatP
is a good example of doing just that.
Are you fooled into believing it is all real and they aren't puppets? Of course not! Part of the charm of works like this is the obvious hands on talent. Seeing the puppets move and knowing that in order to make them do so an artist posed them one frame at a time. Days of work for a few minutes of movie. Much like a painter spending days, weeks or even years for to complete a single framed piece of art, such is the life for these animators. Like i said, I am a big fan of this art and that stems from simply being impressed at what goes into every moment.
Speaking of what goes into a film like this!
If behind the scenes are what you crave, then this DVD is for you! Over an hour and a half of content awaits after you finish the short feature. Cast and crew interviews, storyboards, production stills, concept art, discussions on creating the sounds and visual effects, and my personal favorite, a tour of the foley studio! Just as I am amazed at the effort that goes into stop-motion, I am equally equally thrilled at seeing how they mimic the sounds that we may take for granted. Steps on pavement, the sound of breaking ice, all done in a room with nothing more that a slab of concrete and an old car windshield. Ingenuity at it's finest!
If you are a fan of stop-motion, of animation, independent films, film making, or a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I would truly recommend this DVD.
Go to http://www.thepitandthependulumshortfilm.com/
to order yours.