Early Peter Jackson film work

I saw this B&W once, a fictional “documentary” about some guy who was making an extravaganza (Cleopatra?) and ran out of money or died or something. Jackson & crew were slogging through the jungle and found the old sets with vines growing over them. That’s about all I remember.


Forgotten Silver

A truly wonderful piece of work. I remember when it was first aired, on TVNZ in the Sunday night documentary slot, and so many New Zealanders who’d grown up on tales of plucky little Kiwi pioneers and inventors were completely fooled. There was something of a minor national outcry when it was revealed that it was all a hoax: how dare state broadcasting money be spent taking the piss?

Mind you, that was nothing compared to the foofaraw when Brain Dead won the best NZ film award for its year.

I remember seeing it on television here one Sunday afternoon on an arts program. I believed it utterly until very close to the end, when the penny finally dropped.

I saw the premier TV screening, it was part of a series of funded one-off shows. My Auckland flatmate was spewing chunks about how all the other projects (read: the flatmate’s project) got short changed because Jackson hoovered up most of the available cash for something that wasn’t even ‘drama’.

Then, on the ‘lost set’, I recognised the lion fountain from below the museum and the Massey memorial and so on. Heaps of Wellington landmarks inserted into the Roman scenery. “It’s a fake!” I announced, delighted. The flatmate was even more disgusted at having lost any right to complain.
Good times.:stuck_out_tongue:

I was almost fooled by it, until about halfway through when they talked about constantly going back in and finishing the Babylon shoots, always using thousands of extras each time, and yet nobody had ever heard of this guy before?

But the ironic thing about it for me personally, was that the actor playing Colin Mackenzie was a friend of mine, so I should’ve twigged from the beginning. I had thought he was acting in re-creations, when in fact he was playing the genuine guy.

I caught on pretty quick, but it was really funny.

The colour footage of girls from Tahiti that had to be reviewed by the (all male) town council multiple times was priceless.


As a professional film archivist, I’m more than a bit biased, but this still remains my favorite Peter Jackson movie. Wonderful. :slight_smile:

What, no love for Meet the Feebles?