Posts Tagged ‘Peter Chung’

Fire and Ice

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

August 26, 1983

In my opinion the most unusual and most accomplished of the summer of ’83 fantasy movies – which admittedly just means it’s better than KRULL, PRISONERS OF THE LOST UNIVERSE, YOR – THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE and HERCULES – is Ralph Bakshi’s FIRE AND ICE. An animator for Terrytoons in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Bakshi had knocked the animated feature game off its axis with the independent, adults-only movies FRITZ THE CAT (1972), HEAVY TRAFFIC (1973), and COONSKIN (1975) before pivoting to fantasy specialist with WIZARDS (1977) and THE LORD OF THE RINGS (1978). He had even been attached to direct Oliver Stone’s script for CONAN THE BARBARIAN, the movie that (directed by John Milius) made these sorts of sword and sorcery movies big business for a while.

Bakshi says he lost the gig by telling Arnold Schwarzenegger he’d have to lose weight, so I believe he was expecting to do it in live action, not animation. But his films from this period kind of split the difference between mediums – LORD OF THE RINGS and then AMERICAN POP (1981) made heavy use of rotoscoping, basically filming a version of the movie with actors for the animators to draw over frame by frame. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Animatrix

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

A widely circulated anecdote about THE MATRIX (I believe coming from an interview on the DVD extras) says that when the Wachowskis pitched the movie to producer Joel Silver they showed him Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime film GHOST IN THE SHELL on video and said, “We wanna do that for real.”

The internet being the internet, that story evolved into the usual exaggerations – THE MATRIX is nearly a scene-for-scene remake, so close they had to ask permission, bullshit like that. There’s a cool video on Youtube showing images from THE MATRIX that seem inspired by or lifted from GHOST – lines of green code, plugs in the back of necks, a cool way that Neo lands – but it runs 1:16. There are quite a few other parts in THE MATRIX, in my opinion.

Still, the influence is undeniable, and the Wachowskis have been open about it. You can see what they were interested in there: the intersections between man and machine, super-powered battles in the midst of or above a large city, badasses in sunglasses taking on a bunch of armored cops, or being clawed at by inhuman machines. They did all that for real. (read the rest of this shit…)