Friday, August 10, 2012

Carlo Rambaldi Reaches the Clearing at the End of the Path

Sad news from Hollywood today, as special effects master (and two-time Oscar winner) Carlo Rambaldi has passed away at age 86.

Rambaldi is probably best known for his work for Steven Spielberg on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, for which he designed the squat little fellow from whom the movie draws its title.

Readers of this blog may also recall Rambaldi's work on a pair of mid-eighties Stephen King adaptations: Cat's Eye (for which Rambaldi provided the troll makeup) and Silver Bullet (for which he designed the excellent werewolf suit).

Rambaldi's first great work was arguably on the 1976 version of King Kong, for which he won an Oscar.  He followed that up with stellar work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien, both of which are classics; he also contributed outstanding effects to less-classic films such as Conan the Destroyer and David Lynch's Dune.

For a child of the late seventies and early eighties like me, Rambaldi was a big part of the pop culture of the day.  His work will live on for decades to come.

My hat is off to you, sir.  Thanks and godspeed.

E.T. and his poppa

Dagoth awakens in Conan the Destroyer

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

King Kong, Rambaldi, and E.T.

Cat's Eye

Silver Bullet

a behind-the-scenes still of one of the Navigators in Dune

Rambaldi with the Alien head he built from H.R. Giger's designs

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