Forgotten Silver

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

This film is a documentary which chronicles the life and accolades of Colin McKenzie. That name might not ring any bells, but if you’ve ever watched movies before, you’ve seen traces of his influence to be sure. His work and creations have not always been known to us all, but now some new discoveries have made sure he is given the respect he deserves. McKenzie was born in rural New Zealand a while before 1900, but his biggest accomplishments were to follow. After he invented the his own motion picture camera, McKenzie pioneered the art form of cinema and made advancements in all aspects of that realm. Some of his innovations include the development of sound with films, the color process used on movies, and many other technical and style creations. While others followed in his shoes later on, McKenzie was the man who started it all long before the masses. So why wasn’t he known to us all? This is a tricky subject, as economics played a role, as did personal sanity, and of course, various other factors were involved. But now his story can be told, so all will know of the cinematic genius, Colin McKenzie.

Behind this film are Peter Jackson and Costa Botes, who worked together as writers and directors on Forgotten Silver. Jackson should be a known force by now, with such films as Dead Alive, The Frighteners, Meet The Feebles, and Bad Taste under his belt, but Botes might not be a name you recall. Botes hasn’t much else in the movie realm, although he did direct the films Saving Grace and Original Skin. These two worked very hard to make sure this piece was as authentic as possible and I have to say, it works to a perfect charm. The story of Colin McKenzie is told with total realism and credibility, no real problems surface in any aspects of the documentary. You’ll even hear from film critic Leonard Maltin, who shares his thoughts on the subject and how McKenzie has influenced cinema even today. This movie is well done in all respects, you have to hand it to all involved and take the time to see their efforts. I recommend Forgotten Silver to all those interested and I know most will rent, but this is one you’ll want to watch over and again. Kudos to First Fun Features for issuing this terrific film in such fine form, what a real treat this is!

Video: How does it look?

Forgotten Silver is presented in a 1.66:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This looks good, but as is the case with all documentaries, the image lacks the polish of a normal feature film. The picture shows some wear and frequent grain, but this is inherent with a release such as this, so no real complaints there. The colors seem natural and with no major flaws, while flesh tones come off as warm and normal as well. The contrast is even throughout the documentary, which is about all you can ask for in the end. This might not be a pristine transfer, but this is the best Forgotten Silver has ever looked.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a documentary, so the rather basic audio mix present seems to be more than adequate. The music comes across in fine form and no distortion is present, which is good because the music adds a nice background to the documentary. The rest of the audio focuses on dialogue, which is the real heart of this documentary, so it was vital for the vocals to come through well. And thankfully, this mix allows the dialogue to be clean and crisp at all times, no troubles in the least here. It might not rock the house, but this track handles the needs of the feature very well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This one has some extras as well, such as an audio commentary track from writer/director Costa Botes. The track has a wealth of insight into this piece, which is welcome and a real treat to listen to. I do wish there weren’t so many silent spaces here, but what time is filled is packed with information. A terrific featurette is also included, which contains interviews with the directors, featured speakers from the piece, and various others. This piece runs about twenty-two minutes and is a real bonus for fans of Forgotten Silver, I am very pleased with this featurette. Rounding the disc is a selection of deleted footage, which is nice to be able to check out.

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