Written and Directed by Peter Jackson and Costa Botes
Imagine you are interested in some sort of martial arts. Taking that imagination into count let me tell you something that would be real cool if it had happened to you. Some old lady who lives across the street calls you. You head over and she tells you that some old case had been lying around in her outhouse for a long time and she would like you to help get rid of it. You reluctantly decide to see to the task, but, when you open the case (quite by accident can make it more dramatic) you find some of the greatest martial arts teaching material in there. Books, hand written notes, pictures, videos and other stuff. And what’s even more romantic, this material had never seen daylight and you can be its only link to the outside world.
Now, the medium of romanticizing such a thought differs with your line of work. And the dreamiest thing that can happen from a filmmaker’s perspective is finding reels in rusty silver boxes of inventions and innovations in film. Like some fella discovering some of the most popular shots (track shots, close ups) and techniques much before what the history books had to say about these.
Peter Jackson’s mockumentary ‘Forgotten Silver’ is as brilliant a movie as his epic ‘Ring’ series. The film is about an unrecognized pioneer filmmaker ‘Colin McKenzie’.
A mockumentary is basically a pre-written piece (just like your regular films), but, is presented like a documentary (as if the people acting in it were not).
McKenzie’s association with a silent movie actor for funds, the three year disappearance with a string attached on the New Zealand west coast (probably the best surprise in the film), his association with Russians for funds, one his friends beating the Wright brothers to the invention of flying, his love interest, his war films, his death and the whole presentation of this fictionally iconic figure is some of the best fairy tale like writing I’ve ever come across.