he 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23–May 7) announces one of the highly anticipated special events of each year’s Festival, the annual pairing of live music with an iconic silent film. Dengue Fever (http://www.myspace.com/denguefevermusic) will perform the world premiere of their newly composed original score for the first cinematic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s adventure yarn The Lost World at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street, San Francisco, Ca., 415-621-6120) on Tuesday, May 5 at 8:00 pm.

“The Lost World is a classic exploration of man’s fascination with his own prehistory. It contains amazing animated sequences and inventive costumes and sets depicting a land that time forgot,” said Film Society Programming Associate Sean Uyehara. “Today, audiences can also read the film as a campy silent documenting how we used to think of the age of dinosaurs. It is full of anachronistic cultural stereotypes regarding science, marriage and race. Like the territory depicted in the film, Dengue Fever’s music comes from a time and place that no longer exists. The band, which hails from Los Angeles, plays 1960s style psychedelic Cambodian pop. The band and film both evoke the same kind of nostalgia for a place that may never have existed.”

Dengue Fever’s repertoire isn’t 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 band’s unique sound. Dengue Fever’s most recent release, Venus On Earth (M80 Music) has garnered rave reviews since its release in January 2008. Rabid interest from the press and college radio (where it reached #14 at CMJ) generated coverage in Los Angeles Times (“Sexy and eclectic, it’s world music for the cool kids”); SPIN Magazine (“Venus On Earth feels impulsive and rich, rippling with surf psychedelia and exultant brass swing” (4 stars); and Paste Magazine (“The maturing, polyglot sound of America’s urban future. (3 Stars.”) Additionally, The Times of London (“If there is any justice in pop music, we’ll all catch Dengue Fever before the year is out”) as well as The New York Times, Global Rhythm, Mojo, Uncut, NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Entertainment Weekly, Songlines and fRoots have praised the band’s latest offering.

The plot surrounding The Lost World begins with a journal which points to the existence of dinosaurs in current times. An expedition is formed to find these lost creatures. Harry Hoyt’s adaptation of The Lost World (1925), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam, stars Bessie Love, Lewis Stone, Wallace Beer and Lloyd Hughes. Willis O’Brien’s pioneering stop motion special effects of prehistoric beasts encountered by a scientific expedition are a precursor to his remarkable animation achievements for 1933’s King Kong. The Lost World was entered into the National Film Registry in 1998. The Lost World will be shown in a restored print with simulated tinting from the collection of the George Eastman House.

Tickets for this world premiere event at the Castro are $15 San Francisco Film Society members/$20 general. For tickets and information go to www.sffs.org or call 925.866.9559.


Dengue Fever is Chhom Nimol – who sang regularly for the King and Queen of Cambodia – Ethan Holtzman (keyboards), Zac Holtzman (guitar), David Ralicke (horns), Senon Williams (bass) and Paul Smith (drums). The band’s music has been featured in a number of film and television shows including CITY OF GHOSTS, MUST LOVE DOGS, BROKEN FLOWERS, HBO’s hit series TRUE BLOOD and twice on Showtime’s, WEEDS. They have released three albums, Dengue Fever, Escape From Dragon House, Venus On Earth and are set to release their DVD/CD soundtrack to the documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong on April 14, 2009.

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