Forgotten Silver - The Internet Movie Database's Movie of the Day
Peter Jackson (who's helming this winter's The Fellowship of the Ring) has made sublime films (Heavenly Creatures) and silly ones (The Frighteners). In the sublime category for Mr. Jackson is Forgotten Silver, an inventive, entertaining short film (54 minutes) about legendary New Zealand director, Colin McKenzie. That name doesn't appear in the IMDb database because Colin McKenzie is a fiction, a creation of Jackson, and writer/director Costa Botes, and the film is a wry faux-documentary presented as film history. Jackson himself appears in Silver, claiming to have happened upon the cache of McKenzie footage by accident. McKenzie is discovered to have been an amazing film innovator: he shoots the first tracking shot, the first close-up, the first color test, and synchronizes the first sound to his footage. Eventually, his magnum opus is his biblical epic, "Salome;" the film both ruins him and sets him off as a director to rival D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. Cameos by Harvey Weinstein, Leonard Maltin , and Sam Neill all help to perpetrate this fraud, all in the service of this splendid, creative movie.