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 and two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects in 1980 and 1983 for, respectively, Alien (1979) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (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.
Carlo Rambaldi in 2010
|Died||August 10, 2012 (aged 86)|
|Education||Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna|
|King Kong (1976)|
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
|Awards||3 Oscars |
Academy Awards Special Achievement Award
BAFTA Film Award (nominated)
David di Donatello Special
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Special
Los Angeles Italian Film Awards Outstanding Achievement Award
Razzie Award (nominated)
Carlo Rambaldi was born September 15, 1925 in Vigarano Mainarda, Emilia-Romagna. 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.
In 1963 he became a full-time special effects artist. He worked with Italian directors including Mario Bava, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mario Monicelli and Dario Argento. 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) and 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.
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 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."
Personal life and deathEdit
Rambaldi died after a long illness on August 10, 2012 in Lamezia Terme, Calabria, where he had lived for the last decade of his life, after relocating to be near his daughter and grandchildren.
His ashes were laid to rest in the family tomb in Vigarano Mainarda, near his son Alessandro.
|Dragon's Blood||1957||Yes||Dragon creator|||
|Goliath and the Dragon||1960||Yes||Special make-up effects|||
|The Giants of Thessaly||Yes|||
|Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules||1962||Yes|||
|Medusa Against the Son of Hercules||1963||Yes|||
|Bloody Pit of Horror||1965||Yes|||
|Danger: Diabolik||1968||Yes||Set designer|||
|The Night of the Devils||1972||Yes|||
|Flesh for Frankenstein||1973||Yes|||
|The Hand That Feeds the Dead||1974||Yes|||
|Blood for Dracula||Yes|||
|King Kong||1976||Yes||Kong design and engineering|||
|The White Buffalo||1977||Yes||Consultant on buffalo sequences|||
|Close Encounters of the Third Kind||Yes||Realization of "extraterrestrial"|||
|Alien||1979||Yes||'Alien' head effect|||
|Nightwing||Yes||Special visual effects|||
|The Hand||1981||Yes||Special visual effects|||
|E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial||1982||Yes||Creator of E.T.|||
|Conan the Destroyer||1984||Yes||Creator of Dagoth|||
|Cat's Eye||1985||Yes||Creature creator|||
|Silver Bullet||Yes||Creature creator|||
One Special Achievement Academy AwardEdit
- 1977 (49th): for Best Visual Effects for King Kong (1976), shared with Glen Robinson and Frank Van der Veer
Two Academy Awards for Best Visual EffectsEdit
Los Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsEdit
- 1982: Special Award, "for the body of his work"
- 1983: for Best Special Effects for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), shared with Dennis Muren
- 1985: Special Award, "for his whole activities"[note 1]
Los Angeles Italian Film AwardsEdit
- 2000: Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Special Effects
David di Donatello AwardsEdit
- 2002: Special David Award
- 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"
- Studying art at the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
- "Obituaries: Carlo Rambaldi". The Daily Telegraph. October 5, 2012
- 49th Academy Awards (Monday, March 28, 1977), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
- 52nd Academy Awards (Monday, April 14, 1980), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
- 55th Academy Awards (Monday, April 11, 1983), official lists of winners and nominees in the Oscars.org website
- ‹See Tfd›(in Italian) Assante, Ernesto (August 10, 2012). "Addio a Carlo Rambaldi il creatore di E.T. e Alien". la Repubblica
- Wickman, Forrest (August 13, 2012). "R.I.P. Carlo Rambaldi, Creator of E.T." Slate.
- Davis, Lauren (October 28, 2012). "5 horror movies so gruesome, the makers were investigated for cruelty and murder". io9.
- "Addio a Carlo Rambaldi il creatore di E.T. e Alien". republicca.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- "Carlo Rambaldi sarà cremato e sepolto a Vigarano Mainarda". www.ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- "ET and Alien special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi dies". bbc.com. bbc. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- Agi, Fonte. "Carlo Rambaldi sarà cremato e sepolto a Vigarano Mainarda". www.ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
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- Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 57.
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- Celli & Cottino-Jones 2007, p. 106.
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- "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein". American Film Institute. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- Gallant, Chris (2000). Art of Darkness: The Cinema of Dario Argento. Fab Press. p. 279. ISBN 1903254078.
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