Monday, March 30, 2009

The Lost World (1925)

In 1925 stop motion photography was cutting edge stuff. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story of an island where dinosaurs still lived provided the perfect setting to exploit this technique. Moviegoers never saw anything like it.

Professor Challenger, a respected scientist, tries to convince his colleagues of this island and is ridiculed. His BFF Maple White (Maple White?) was lost on a previous expedition so circumstances have the bombastic Prof, a newspaper reporter, Maple's supposedly attractive daughter, and a cast of racial stereotypes go a-huntin'.

I have to be perfectly honest. I fell asleep during the movie. I seem to have little tolerance for silent movies what with the overacting and smack-you-in-the-head storyline. One must respect this film for it's groundbreaking special effects, and that's hard to do in an age where people say the dinos in Jurassic Park "look fake".

But it's interesting to compare this film with King Kong, made just eight years later. Arguably the addition of sound made a larger impact than any visual effect. One is a film for the ages, the other a snooze-fest. Incidentally, the only connection between these two films are the dinosaur models and technique used in both. I thought the same person did the special effects. Not true.

The copy I watched was bad VCR tape. Maybe I will see this movie again, if a quality copy lands in my hands, but I won't be going out of my way to find it. A very generous AMRU 3.

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