The Jurassic Park of great-grandpa’s day, moviedom’s first major foray into creature animation. Accompanied by a dynamic original score by Sydney-based New Zealand composer and pianist Jan Preston.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
The Jurassic Park of great-grandpa’s day, The Lost World was moviedom’s first major foray into creature animation. A cast of stegosaurus, allosaurus, brontosaurus, triceratops and pterodactyl responded to the hands-on direction of Willis O’Brien, who went on to perform a similar if improved service for the original King Kong. Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who appears briefly, it concerns the efforts of the plucky Professor Challenger to prove to the scoffers of London society that prehistoric life still exists, you fools! This entails leading his party, including the beautiful daughter of an earlier lost explorer, into life-threatening encounters with said dinosaurs on a remote Brazilian plateau – then freighting one of them home to stomp all over the doubters. The film was such a spectacular success that the producers actually ordered all prints destroyed while they prepared to astound the world anew with the sound remake that mutated into Kong. Truncated versions containing only the dinosaur sequences circulated for years, but this recent restoration supplied by George Eastman House comes close to presenting the full, amazing adventure as first experienced 80 years ago. — BG
Silent movies were never silent. Sydney-based New Zealand composer and pianist Jan Preston compounds the excitement. Accompanied by bass saxophonist Peter Boyd, she performs her dynamic original score, commissioned by the Sydney Film Festival.