For the final day of "Peter Jackson Week", something that I didn't even know I was doing until I started talking about Braindead (aka Dead Alive). Forgotten Silver is probably Jackson's least known film here is the States. The fact that it was co-directed by Costa Botes, who is a good filmmaker in his own right.
The film was made for the main tv station in New Zealand and Jackson and Botes thought it would be funny if they fooled anyone who was watching it, which would have been most of the country. Jackson even got Harvey Weinstein (who was releasing Heavenly Creatures in the the states), actor Sam Neil, and film critic Leonard Maltin to appear in the film, giving the film some credibility.
The film is about a forgotten star, Colin McKenzie, who was born in New Zealand in 1888 and went on to produce a lot of long lost classics as well as try to make the first epic film. The film is very clever, saying that McKenzie and his brother were the ones who invented airplane, the steadycam, and a host of other things. They were also the fist to make a film with sound and another with color.
When the film was shown in New Zealand, the tv station got so many calls about wanting more info on McKenzie that Jackson and Botes, who were going to keep their secret a little bit longer, were forced to reveal all. To their surprise, people were not mad. They seemed to like the fact that there was a New Zealander who did all of these things before Americans, even if the whole thing was a shame from the start.
I discovered this film in 2002 when I lived in Nashville, Tn. I was at a local library and I saw the dvd sitting there. I took it home and watched the entire dvd, special features and all, in one sitting. I was so amazed by the film that I took it to work and played it on the tvs in the store for a week or so. I had friends watch it and even they thought it was real.
I love this film and hope that, now that Jackson has the rights back to some of his films, that he can give this film the proper edition that it deserves.
Forgotten Silver Theatrical Trailer by thebigmoviehouse