I am an absolute sucker for movie history. I love Turner Classic Movies, even when they're showing something boring and / or depressing and I will watch any documentary about old movies. It's my favorite subject and it probably always will be.
Forgotten Silver is the type of documentary you'd run across on PBS. It's about a filmmaker named Colin McKenzie, whose films from the early 1900s were given to Peter Jackson by McKenzie's widow. The films turn out to be an amazing find, proving that a New Zealander flew before the Wright brothers and that McKenzie figured out how to make movies with sound decades before Hollywood did, among other things. McKenzie's magnum opus was a four hour epic telling of Salome.
The documentary covers McKenzie's personal life along with his professional work, and also follows a group of people looking for the lost set of Salome that was built deep in the wilds of New Zeland.
Forgotten Silver is completely engrossing and well worth every one of the fifty five minutes it takes to watch it.
The only problem I have with it is that it's completely fictional. (That isn't necessarily a spoiler. That's announced all over the DVD box and, also, I probably wouldn't have remembered the little blurb I'd read about this movie in a "cult movies" guide if it hadn't mentioned that it was a fictional documentary.) It's kind of sad that this story that I got so invested in, was so fascinated by, isn't the slightest bit true. There are so few clues in the movie, though, that it isn't a real documentary, I would imagine a lot of people were / could be fooled by it.
Highly, highly recommended. (What do you know; now I like three Peter Jackson movies!)
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