Frazetta: Painting With Fire

Frazetta: Painting With Fire (2003)
Liberation Entertainment
Cast: Frank Frazetta
Extras: Commentary, Featurettes, Sketches, Interviews, Art Gallery, Clips and more

’Frank Frazetta’ the name conjures up countless images. Images that have an impact on the viewer like few others do. At first we see his breath-taking fantasy paintings in our mind’s eye, then gradually some of his earlier water-color comic book covers and movie posters and then his comic book art. Frazetta is one of the greatest and certainly one of the most popular graphic artists of our time and with this documentary director Lance Laspina has created a wonderful tribute to this artistic giant.

The documentary is an intimate look at Frazetta’s life, career and works. From his childhood in Brookyln to his family, his career in comics, in movies and in fantasy paintings, everything is covered in detail by the people who know and love him, as well as by himself. It is a magnificent celebration of his life and work.

Many familiar names and faces appear in the documentary, including people such as John Millius, Ralph Bakshi, Forrest Ackerman, Bo Derek, Kevin Eastman, Brom, and countless others, all pointing out just how influential Frazetta’s work was on their own careers, and also to share some more insight as to why Frazetta’s work is as powerful and magnetic as it is.

As if the powerful documentary weren’t enough, Razor Digital has upped the ante another good notch by adding some absolutely amazing bonus materials and released this film as a 2-disc Collector’s Edition DVD. What’s on there? Glad you asked…

For example you will find long versions of many of the interviews that were used in the documentary on this DVD. These segments are significantly longer and more detailed and will give you an even better understanding on the impact Frazetta’s work has on the entire creative community around the world.

Also included is a commentary track by the director and producer as they touch upon many other subjects that never made it into the documentary directly. Stories and anecdotes and many tidbits make this commentary a true gem.

On the second disc, prepare to be wowed as you get to see Frazetta draw a panther in front of the camera, for example, using his left hand. A collection of home movies are also included giving you an even more personal look at Frank’s life.

A segment about the Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta co-production ’Fire & Ice’ is also included here in which actor Sean Hannon remembers the making of the movie and explains the steps how the film came together.

Deleted scenes, outtakes and additional stories that didn’t make it into the documentary can also be found on this second disc. They are wonderfully heartfelt, amusing and fun to watch so check it out.

And then, of course, there is an extensive image gallery on the disc covering hundreds of Franks pieces. From rare sketches and preliminary images to pencil sketches, oil paintings, sculptures and comic art in one section, the DVD also takes you through a personal photo gallery of Frank Frazetta himself. Also included is a gallery of artwork by Frank’s peers, artists who were inspired by his work and pay homage to his genius in their way.

This release is such a wonderful tribute to Frank Frazetta that it is impossible not to fall in love with it. The documentary is rich, entertaining and informative, giving us a good glimpse at the man behind all those artworks that have impressed us all for over 50 years. Frazetta himself is very open and entertaining, adding immensely to the appeal of the documentary. The DVD then adds to it with heaps of extras and all I can say is that this DVD is the PERFECT stocking stuffer for this year’s Christmas!