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BMZ Review: Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
By Ross Anthony


When we protect nature, we protect ourselves
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: June 2001


Category: Reviews

Prior to the screening, Producer Daniel Ferguson offered his own opinion of why filmmakers make large format pieces, "We're here for the spectacle - because we love it!"

A once-thriving Mayan city suddenly abandoned... Why? What happened? This production suggests that the answer lies in the delicate balance of nature. The concept of ecosystems and their interconnectedness is explored with a mix of locations and stories.

From a New York high-rise apartment, we rush backwards through the kitchen water faucet, inside pipes, underground, finally surfacing in the Catskill Mountain reservoirs. We also follow the food chain from microscopic animals to urchins to sea otters. We examine what happens if one link is taken from the chain, and what humans can do to repair it.

Then, off to a West Coast tropical rain forest and all the winged insects therein. I enjoyed a rolling pan of a large biologists chart, chock full of organized, labeled, and pinned dragonflies and beetles. Interestingly enough, the next shot displayed a scientist with a Beatles haircut (coincidence, I'm sure).

The film's centerpiece is a journey into Venezuela's wild back country via helicopter.  This segment hosts the most spectacular landscape shots – including the otherworldly table mountains, with  magnificent kilometer high waterfalls plunging off of them. The film itself takes its name from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost Worlds, about dinosaurs still living in a region inspired by this very place.  The director does a fine job here of keeping reference subjects (people, helicopter) in frame, especially while shooting behind a waterfall. 

Up on top of remote, flat-topped Mount Roraima, you'll witness carnivorous plants munching on unknowing insects. The macro shot of the millipede is also tantalizing, as is an interlude with a tiny frog that walks instead of hops, and rolls down walls.

In addition to the handful of spectacle, "Lost Worlds" could have used a few more edgy big screen moments.  Regardless, big movie fans will find the Venezuela segment in particular remarkable.

Copyright (C) 2001. 
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more reviews visit:

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Additional BMZ Reviews of Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance

“Lost Worlds” Logs Hair-Raising Adventures by Elizabeth Kaye McCall
BMZ Review of LOST WORLDS by Herb Lash

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