Carlo Rambaldi

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Carlo Rambaldi
Carlo Rambaldi al Giffoni Film Festival 2010 - cropped.jpg
Carlo Rambaldi in 2010
Born (1925-09-15)September 15, 1925
Vigarano Mainarda, Italy
Died August 10, 2012(2012-08-10) (aged 86)
Lamezia Terme, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna[1]
Occupation Special effects
Visual effects
Notable work King Kong (1976)
Alien (1979)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Spouse(s) Bruna Basso[2]
Children Vittorio[2]
Daniela[3]
Awards 3 Oscars
Academy Awards Special Achievement Award
Saturn Award
BAFTA Film Award (nominated)
David di Donatello Special
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Special
Los Angeles Italian Film Awards Outstanding Achievement Award
Mystfest Special
Razzie Award (nominated)

Carlo Rambaldi (September 15, 1925 – August 10, 2012) was an Italian special effects artist, winner of three Oscars: one Special Achievement Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1977 for the 1976 version of King Kong[4] and two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects in 1980 and 1983 for, respectively, Alien[5] (1979) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[6] (1982). He is most famous for his work in those two last mentioned films, that is for the mechanical head-effects for the creature in Alien and the design of the title character of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Early life[edit]

Carlo Rambaldi was born September 15, 1925 in Vigarano Mainarda, Emilia-Romagna.[7] He studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, where he developed a passion for electromechanics and the skeleton and musculature of the human body. He was heavily influenced by the work of Picasso and the Italian artist Renato Guttuso.[2]

Career[edit]

Rambaldi's first work in film was creating a fire-breathing dragon for the 1957 Italian picture Sigfrido[2] (titled in the English version as The Dragon's Blood).

In 1963 he became a full-time special effects artist. He worked with Italian directors including Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mario Monicelli and Dario Argento.[2] Some films he worked on included Medusa vs the Son of Hercules (1962), Bloody Pit of Horror (1965), Planet of the Vampires (1965), Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965), L'Odissea (1968, a TV miniseries), A Bay of Blood (1972), The Night of the Devils (1972), Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974), Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974), Deep Red (Profondo Rosso, 1975), King Kong (1976), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Alien (1979), Nightwing (1979), Possession (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Dune (1984), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Silver Bullet (1985), King Kong Lives (1986) or Cameron's Closet (1988), among others.

Rambaldi had the distinction of being the first special effects artist to be required to prove that his work on a film was not 'real'. Dog-mutilation scenes in the 1971 film A Lizard in a Woman's Skin were so convincingly visceral that its director, Lucio Fulci, was prosecuted for offenses relating to animal cruelty. Fulci would have served a two-year prison sentence, had Rambaldi not exhibited the film's array of props to a courtroom, proving that the scene was not filmed using real animals.[8][9]

Rambaldi's last screen credit was on the 1988 horror film Primal Rage, directed by his son Vittorio. When computer-generated special effects became common place, Rambaldi complained, "Any kid with a computer can reproduce the special effects seen in today’s movies. The mystery's gone. The curiosity that viewers once felt when they saw special effects has disappeared. It's as if a magician had revealed all of his tricks... There’s no question that these computer films are well packaged but the charm has disappeared... If Steven Spielberg:Spielberg were to film E.T. today using the latest technology I'm not sure it would be a hit because the techniques they’re using at the moment couldn't reproduce the tender expression of ET's eyes, for example. The secret of creating what technology is unable to express lies in the work of the artisan, who is able to develop characteristics that touch our deepest emotions."[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

Carlo Rambaldi married Bruna Basso, with whom he had a son, Vittorio, and a daughter, Daniela[10][2]. Another son, Alessandro, died of a rare form of leukemia at 33 years of age.[11]

Rambaldi died after a long illness[12] on August 10, 2012 in Lamezia Terme, Calabria, where he had lived for the last decade of his life,[7] after relocating to be near his daughter and grandchildren.[13]

His ashes were laid to rest in the family tomb in Vigarano Mainarda, near his son Alessandro.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Credited as Notes Ref(s)
Special effects Other
The Giants of Thessaly 1960 Yes [15][16]
Danger: Diabolik 1968 Yes Set designer [17][18]
Frankenstein '80 1972 Yes [19]
Tragic Ceremony Yes [20]
The Hand That Feeds the Dead 1974 Yes [21][22]
Andy Warhol's Dracula Yes [23]
Andy Warhol's Frankenstein Yes [24]
King Kong 1976 Yes Kong design and engineering [25]
The White Buffalo 1977 Yes Consultant on buffalo sequences [26]
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Yes Realization of "extraterrestrial" [27]
Alien 1979 Yes 'Alien' head effect [28]
Nightwing Yes Special visual effects [29]
The Hand 1981 Yes Special visual effects [30]
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Yes Creator of E.T. [31]
Conan the Destroyer 1984 Yes Creator of Dagoth [32]
Dune Yes Creature creator [33]
Cat's Eye 1985 Yes Creature creator [34]
Silver Bullet Yes Creature creator [35]

Academy Awards[edit]

One Special Achievement Academy Award[edit]

Two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects[edit]

Other awards[edit]

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards[edit]

  • 1982: Special Award, "for the body of his work"

Saturn Awards[edit]

MystFest Awards[edit]

  • 1985: Special Award, "for his whole activities"[note 1]

Los Angeles Italian Film Awards[edit]

  • 2000: Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Special Effects

David di Donatello Awards[edit]

  • 2002: Special David Award

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MystFest is the commonly used abbreviation for the "International Mystery Film Festival of Cattolica", in Italian "Festival internazionale del giallo e del mistero di Cattolica"

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Studying art at the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituaries: Carlo Rambaldi". The Daily Telegraph. October 5, 2012
  3. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/spettacoli-e-cultura/2012/08/10/news/carlo_rambaldi-40727583/
  4. ^ 49th Academy Awards (Monday, March 28, 1977), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
  5. ^ 52nd Academy Awards (Monday, April 14, 1980), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
  6. ^ 55th Academy Awards (Monday, April 11, 1983), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
  7. ^ a b (in Italian) Assante, Ernesto (August 10, 2012). "Addio a Carlo Rambaldi il creatore di E.T. e Alien". la Repubblica
  8. ^ Wickman, Forrest (August 13, 2012). "R.I.P. Carlo Rambaldi, Creator of E.T." Slate.
  9. ^ Davis, Lauren (October 28, 2012). "5 horror movies so gruesome, the makers were investigated for cruelty and murder". io9.
  10. ^ "Addio a Carlo Rambaldi il creatore di E.T. e Alien". republicca.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Carlo Rambaldi sarà cremato e sepolto a Vigarano Mainarda". www.ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "ET and Alien special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi dies". bbc.com. bbc. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  13. ^ Agi, Fonte. "Carlo Rambaldi sarà cremato e sepolto a Vigarano Mainarda". www.ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Agi, Fonte. "Carlo Rambaldi sarà cremato e sepolto a Vigarano Mainarda". www.ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  15. ^ Curti 2017, p. 315.
  16. ^ Curti 2017, p. 316.
  17. ^ Celli & Cottino-Jones 2007, p. 106.
  18. ^ Curti 2016, p. 104.
  19. ^ Curti 2017, p. 69.
  20. ^ Curti 2017, p. 327.
  21. ^ Curti 2017, p. 124.
  22. ^ Curti 2017, p. 125.
  23. ^ "Andy Warhol's Dracula". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  25. ^ "King Kong". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "The White Buffalo". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  27. ^ "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Alien". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  29. ^ "Nightwing". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  30. ^ "The Hand". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  31. ^ "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  32. ^ "Conan the Destroyer". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  33. ^ "Dune". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  34. ^ "Stephen King's Cat's Eye". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  35. ^ "Silver Bullet". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 

Sources[edit]

  • Celli, C.; Cottino-Jones, M. C (2007). A New Guide to Italian Cinema. Springer. ISBN 0-230-60182-0. 
  • Curti, Roberto (2016). Diabolika: Supercriminals, Superheroes and the Comic Book Universe in Italian Cinema. Midnight Marquee Press. ISBN 978-1-936168-60-6. 
  • Curti, Roberto (2017). Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker. McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-6970-0. 
  • Curti, Roberto (2017). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979. McFarland. ISBN 1476629609. 

External links[edit]