The 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23–May 7) announces one of the
most highly anticipated special events of each yearʼs Festival, the annual pairing of live music with an iconic silent film. The genre-busting pop band Dengue Fever will perform the world premiere of their newly composed original score for the first cinematic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyleʼs adventure yarn The Lost World at the historic Castro Theatre on Tuesday, May 5 at 8:00 pm.
A journal points to the existence of dinosaurs in current times. An expedition is formed to find these lost creatures. Harry Hoytʼs adaptation of The Lost World (1925), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric reptiles still roam, stars Bessie Love, Lewis Stone, Wallace Beery and Lloyd Hughes. Willis OʼBrienʼs pioneering stop-motion special effects of prehistoric beasts encountered by the scientific expedition are a precursor to his remarkable animation achievements for 1933ʼs King Kong. The Lost World was entered into the National Film Registry in 1998. The George Eastman House is providing a restored print with simulated tinting.
“The Lost World is a classic exploration of mankindʼs fascination with its own prehistory. It contains amazing
animated sequences and inventive costumes and sets depicting a land that time forgot,” said Film Society
Programmer Sean Uyehara. “Today, audiences can also read the film as a campy depiction of how we once imagined the age of dinosaurs. It is also full of anachronistic cultural stereotypes regarding science, marriage and race. Like the territory depicted in the film, Dengue Feverʼs music evokes a time and place of memory. The band, which hails from Los Angeles, plays 1960s-style psychedelic Cambodian pop. Both the band and film both conjure up a nostalgia for a time and place that may never have existed.”
Dengue Feverʼs repertoire isnʼt simply Cambodian music or a Cambodian/American hybrid. Bollywood glitz,
psychedelic rock, spaghetti Western twang, klezmer, ska, funk and Ethiopian jazz all contribute to the bandʼs unique sound. Keyboardist Ethan Holtzman introduced his guitarist brother Zac to the Cambodian pop music of the ʼ60s that heʼd become enamored with while on a trip to Angkor Wat. Together they went looking for a Cambodian singer and discovered Chʼhom Nimol, who had performed regularly for the Cambodian royal family in the past, singing at a Khmer restaurant in Long Beach. Her powerful singing voice, in Khmer and more recently also English, is a luminous vibrato that adds exotic ornamentations to her vocal lines and complements the bandʼs driving sound. The band, including saxophonist David Ralicke, drummer Paul Smith and bassist Senon Williams, debuted with a Khmer cover of Joni Mitchellʼs Both Sides Now for Matt Dillonʼs directorial debut City of Ghosts. Their first CD, Dengue Fever (2003) was comprised primarily of covers of Cambodian pop classics. Their second album, Escape from Dragon House, written almost entirely by the band, expanded the psychedelic, experimental sound of their repertoire. Dengue Feverʼs songs have been on film and television soundtracks including Jim Jarmuschʼs Broken Flowers, the romantic comedy Must Love Dogs, HBOʼs True Blood and Showtimeʼs Weeds. Dengue Feverʼs most recent release, Venus on Earth has garnered rave reviews since its release in January 2008. A film crew recorded the bandʼs 2005 tour of Cambodia and the DVD/CD soundtrack of the feature documentary, Sleepwalking Through the Mekong is scheduled for release in April.
Official Website: http://fest09.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=53
Added by cinesoul on April 6, 2009