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Feature
The Genius Of Carlo Rambaldi
We look back at the special effects artist's best known creations

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“Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s Geppetto,” recalled Steven Spielberg about the Academy Award-winning special-effects artist who passed away on Friday. Rambaldi’s craft mixed mechanical, electronic and systems design engineering but his art knew limitless imagination, winning Oscars for King Kong, Alien and his most famous creation E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. In an age of colourless, characterless CGI creations, Rambaldi’s work runs the gamut from sheer terror to benign wonder but always with personality. Here are some of his highlights over his 30-film career.

WORDS IAN FREER
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The Genius Of Carlo Rambaldi | Beginnings
Beginnings

Born in Vigarano, Italy in 1935, Carlo Rambaldi studied as an artist at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. He entered the film industry in the ‘60s as a prop man working on flicks such as Barrabas, The Bible and Barbarella, co-creating the vicious mechanical dolls that smack Jane Fonda to life using the kind of cable controlled mechanical devices that became his trademark. His work in Europe saw him work for viscounts of violence Dario Argento (Deep Red — Rambaldi created a scuttling automaton), Andrzej Żuławski (Possession — this time round a tentacled creature) and most notably Lucio Fulci. For A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin (1971), Rambaldi created vivid scenes of dog mutilation so realistic that Fulci was prosecuted for offences relating to animal cruelty. Fulci was facing a two-year prison sentence until Rambaldi showcased his creations to a court proving no animal was harmed during the making of the production. It is the first case of a special effects artist legally proving his work is not “real”.

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Your Comments

1 PPS...
...No mention of 'Possession'?!? More

Posted by glaive on Thursday August 16, 2012, 17:48

2 P.S...
A "man" in a Rick Baker suit!!?? It WAS Rick Baker in his own suit! Shame on you Empire!!!!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:53

3 You HAVE to be kidding!!??
Ok it was BIG and the hands were clever BUT the reason why it was only on screen for a few seconds was because it was shit!!!! Talk about biting off more than you can chew!! Rick Baker WAS Kong in that film, end of story and precious little credit did he get, no wonder he,s practically disowned any links withit, end of story t!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:50

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