Cleverly written and executed, but I was surprised at how unfunny it was. Not in the sense of *failed* humor, but of humor not being attempted at all. The funniest thing about the film is its overall premise -- chuckles during individual scenes were scarce for me. The steam-driven camera, the egg heist, the all-Chinese talkie, a character named Alexandra Nevsky, Harvey Weinstein's casual shrug at the end about cutting an hour from the fictional movie.... Not much else. The difference between "Forgotten Silver" and "This Is Spinal Tap" is that the latter would be just as funny, even if were true. I can't say the same for "Forgotten Silver." It's certainly worth seeing, however. Note: The film is about 52 minutes, not an *hour* and 52 minutes. The length stated above is wrong.
Forgotten Silver succeeds best because it was birthed by the filmmakers' own innate love for the art and history of movie making, a joy that bleeds through in every frame of the film.
This changed after Peter's success in the wake of Heavenly Creatures. Suddenly the former gore-meister and enfant terrible of New Zealand film had become a respectable producer and everyone wanted to do business with him. But not only that, he had created in Weta a special effects company that was capable of delivering the illusions that would be necessary to make Forgotten Silver.
Quite aside from being perhaps the most elaborate prank in Jackson's career to date (or since), Forgotten Silver is a brilliant piece of moviemaking.