Dengue Fever, a six-member band known for its eclectic mix of rock and Cambodian pop music, has been invited by UCLA Live to perform at a Los Angeles screening of the 1925 film version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s adventure classic The Lost World on Friday, Nov. 12, at Royce Hall in Westwood.
The Dengue Fever musicians composed a new score for The Lost World in 2009 at the behest of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The score has only been performed live twice: in San Francisco and later at Houston’s 2009 Cinema Arts Festival.
Directed by the now all-but-forgotten Harry O. Hoyt, and featuring Wallace Beery (in an infrequent non-villainous pre-talkie role), Bessie Love (of the Oscar-winning The Broadway Melody), Lewis Stone (Judge Hardy in the “Andy Hardy” series), handsome leading man Lloyd Hughes, and second-rank player Bull Montana in an ape suit, The Lost World remains quite entertaining chiefly because of Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion dinosaurs.
Dengue Fever bassist Senon Williams has answered (via e-mail) a few questions about Dengue Fever’s trip to The Lost World. See below.
For more details about the Lost World screening, click here.
Dengue Fever Photo: © 2010 David Perks / SEACollective.
Had Dengue Fever created a film score before? If not, why did the San Francisco Silent Film Festival commission your band to create the musical accompaniment for The Lost World?
No we have never written an entire film score before doing The Lost World for the San Francisco International Film Festival. Over the past few years San Francisco has become one of the best places for us to play. Big crowds and wild shows. Though our live shows tend to be high energy, our albums drift from the melancholy to the wild.
I think Sean Uyehara, the curator who invited us to SFIFF, had become a fan of us live and recorded. He wished to see us do something like this and he thought so would the fans of our music and of silent film. We were up for the challenge.
Dengue Fever is known for its mix of “Cambodian pop music” and “psychedelic rock.” The Lost World is known for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s wild imagination and Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion miniature dinosaurs. How do you go about creating a film score for an 85-year-old movie?
We looked at each character in the film including the dinosaurs and wrote songs for them. Then we looked at the flow and mood of the film and wrote songs for that. It was starting to get schizophrenic, so we cut a lot of fat and made it all flow.
Any more silent film scores in the works?
None in the works but we are always up for a good idea!