Forgotten Silver (1997)
Critics Consensus: This mockumentary about a non-existent New Zealand film pioneer and inventor features fake interviews and recreated archive footage that are so effective that many viewers were stunned to learn it wasn't real.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Originally presented to an unsuspecting New Zealand public as the real deal, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson's masterful mocumentary initially proved so convincing that unsuspecting viewers bought it hook, line, and sinker. A remarkably detailed look at the life of early filmmaker Colin McKenzie (Thomas Robins), the film traces the life of the young innovator as he makes incredible advances in the realm of cinema years before they are generally though to have occurred. From McKenzie's creation of the first "talkie" in 1908 (the first true sound feature is generally considered to be 1927's The Jazz Singer) to his creation of the first color film three short years later (which is generally considered to be 1922's The Toll of the Sea), the discovery of the remarkable advances made by him would forever change the face of film history. With Jackson himself providing commentary on the importance of the recent "discovery" of McKenzie's lost epic Salome -- which was preserved in a garden shed for nearly a century -- the significance of this "lost film" is further cemented by interviews with such notable film figures as Miramax's Harvey Weinstein and film critic Leonard Maltin. As McKenzie's rise and eventual downfall is documented through the use of newspaper articles, still images, and rare behind-the-scenes footage of Salome, the viewer is drawn into a remarkably staged ruse that is so effectively executed that it even includes interviews with McKenzie's "wife," Hannah (Beatrice Ashton). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Forgotten Silver
The sly joke of Forgotten Silver really registers.
a funny mockumentary of a legend that never was
Quite aside from being perhaps the most elaborate prank in Jackson's career to date (or since), Forgotten Silver is a brilliant piece of moviemaking.
It will surely be as elusive to find in the video stores as any of the fake late genius' work, but if you can see it, do see it.
Audience Reviews for Forgotten Silver
Cleverly written and executed, but I was surprised at how unfunny it was. Not in the sense of *failed* humor, but of humor not being attempted at all. The funniest thing about the film is its overall premise -- chuckles during individual scenes were scarce for me. The steam-driven camera, the egg heist, the all-Chinese talkie, a character named Alexandra Nevsky, Harvey Weinstein's casual shrug at the end about cutting an hour from the fictional movie.... Not much else. The difference between "Forgotten Silver" and "This Is Spinal Tap" is that the latter would be just as funny, even if were true. I can't say the same for "Forgotten Silver." It's certainly worth seeing, however. Note: The film is about 52 minutes, not an *hour* and 52 minutes. The length stated above is wrong.More
A rather funny mockumentary about Colin McKenzie, a man who (apparently) rivalled DW Griffiths, the Lumiere brothers, Edison, and George Melies in the early days of film. he supposedly invented the bicycle cam (and subsequently crashed it), made film emulsion from eggs (though it took a dozen to make one minute worth of film), and captured the first flight on celluloid nine months before the Wright Bros. ever flew! Of course, none of this really happened, but apparently some viewers thought that it did, and it got Jackson in a bit of hot water with the New Zealand Film Commission. This film's worth a look.More
Peter Jackson does a perfect job telling the story of a filmmaker who rivals Erich Von Stroheim and D.W. Griffith in the epic department. Though I find it did get a little too audacious (would a movie with that much of a budget and so many extras really be forgotten?) it still played very well. Plus, I knew it wasn't true when I watched it, so I could nitpick.More
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