Forgotten Silver

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  • 1996
  • 53 min
  • 7.4  (6,317)

Forgotten Silver is a mockumentary film from 1995 that follows the life of New Zealand filmmaker Colin McKenzie. The movie is directed by Peter Jackson and Costa Botes and stars Jeffrey Thomas as the narrator. The story begins with the discovery of a silent film reel in a New Zealand attic. The reel features a never-before-seen feature film directed by Colin McKenzie. This discovery leads the filmmakers down a rabbit hole of research, uncovering a treasure trove of lost footage and old interviews with those who knew McKenzie.

As the filmmakers delve deeper into the life of McKenzie, they begin to realize just how significant his contributions to the film industry were. McKenzie, it turns out, was an early pioneer in special effects and sound design. He invented his own equipment and techniques to create realistic effects in his films. Despite his groundbreaking work, however, McKenzie was largely forgotten by history.

The film is presented as a pseudo-documentary, with interviews and footage mixed in with reenactments of McKenzie's life. Through these reenactments, viewers are given a glimpse into the fascinating life of McKenzie, from his humble beginnings to his later years when he became a recluse.

The story is interspersed with interviews from various experts in the film industry, who laud McKenzie's contributions to the craft. One notable interviewee is Leonard Maltin, a famous film critic and historian, who expresses his admiration for McKenzie and his work. Other interview subjects include directors and cinematographers, all of whom speak highly of McKenzie.

The mockumentary format allows the filmmakers to play with the audience's perception of reality. Viewers are initially led to believe that McKenzie was a real person and that his films had truly been lost to history. However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that McKenzie is a fictional character and that the footage and interviews are all part of an elaborate hoax.

Despite this, the film remains an interesting exploration of the film industry and the many forgotten pioneers who have contributed to its success. By creating a fictional character and weaving a complex web of history around him, the filmmakers are able to shine a light on some of the lesser-known aspects of filmmaking.

Overall, Forgotten Silver is a clever and entertaining mockumentary that blends fiction and reality to create a compelling story about the history of filmmaking. While it may not be entirely accurate, the film offers a unique perspective on the industry and its many unsung heroes.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (6,317)