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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


"The Lost Kingdom"

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Brendan Quale Issue 58 - September 1999

Still from "Rheged: The Lost Kingdom", supplied by Rheged The Upland Kingdom Discovery Center.

"The Lost Kingdom"
is the first all-British made, all British financed large format film. On 2D 870/1570, it lasts forty minutes and is primarily a destination film for the Rheged centre to be opened in Penrith (the word Penrith means Head of the Valleys) at the gateway to the Mountains of Northern England. The Film is made and financed by Westmorland Film Ltd.

The Rheged Centre opens in May 1999 and will be the largest indoor visitor attraction in the North of England. It is themed on the sixth century celtic kingdom which controlled Northern England between the departure of the Romans and the arrivals of the Angles, Saxons and then Danes from the continent of Northern Europe. Situated within the area of the Lakeland Hills where mountain exploration and climbing first developed in the world, the Rheged Centre will also contain the World Mountaineering Heritage Exhibition, spearheaded by world pioneering climber Sir Chris Bonington and the British Mountaineering Council.

The Story of "The Lost Kingdom" charts the journey of discovery of a young American seeking his roots in the mountains of the North. It is a ghost story involving a series of Celtic dreams of lost ancestry. The film features a reconstruction of a sixth century battle between Urien the king and a horde of invaders from the Northlands, and a classic emotional climax as the Kingdom, and the traveller's place in it is discovered.

Although intended for a mainstream audience of all ages the film features poetry, violence and nudity, and adopts a frank and uncompromising stand in its historical reconstructions. It also includes some strong special effects unusual for the large format screen and some stunning cinematography of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Western World - the place where tourism originated.

Further in 70mm reading:

"Rheged" Update


Still from "Rheged: The Lost Kingdom", supplied by Rheged The Upland Kingdom Discovery Center.

The Producer of the film is James Graham**), previously known for his work with Stephen Spielberg and for the Oscar winning film "Leaving Los Vegas". The Director is Brendan Quayle, author of the best selling book of the Rheged area, England's Last Wilderness and an award winning documentary film maker. Brendan's family are Manx and ultimately Norse in origin, and he was brought up in Scotland and Ireland but presently lives with his family in Durham on the edge of the Northern Pennines.

The DOP is Howard Smith*) who worked on specialist photography for Stanley Kubrick on his long-awaited final film "Eyes Wide Shut" starring Cruise and Kidman. "The Lost Kingdom" is in its final edit and the film's team is currently negotiating the services of one of the world's newest leading film editors. An announcement on this will be made in Summer 1999.

Director Brendan Quayle says of "The Lost Kingdom", "Early on we looked at the stable of large-format films and were generally unimpressed with the storylines and dramatic impact of the material. It was as if the format was not being used to its greatest strengths". 

Of his film he says, "By bringing together some of the leading talents in the world of feature films, one of the world's premier landscapes, powerful drama and music, and some strong storytelling and effects, we hope to make a genuinely exciting and fresh film for the Imax stable. We believe it will appeal in particular to European audiences with a strong sense of history and literature". But we think it's commercial too ... a 40 minute rollercoaster through time, packed with emotion and excitement...a piece of intelligent fun".

*) May 13, 2002

 "Howard only shot some pick up shot for the end of the movie and I am the credited Director of Photography. Please delete this reference to the director of photography or change it to Lee Ford Parker, my list of credits is available at www.mocoman.com"

**) 12.08.2010

Dear Editor;
Re; "The Lost Kingdom"

A correction to Brendan Quayle's notes, in particular his line:

"The Producer of the film is James Graham, previously known for his work with Stephen Spielberg and for the Oscar winning film "Leaving Los Vegas".

I didn't produce "The Lost Kingdom"; that role was essentially undertaken by Brendan Quayle himself, who developed and financed the idea and was the true figurehead of the project. I was involved only on a minor re-shoot, many months after principal photography had ended. I believe that - quite rightly - the IMDB listing for this film does not mention me at all, in any capacity, reflecting my negligible contribution. Whereas normally one is happy to receive a credit for work done, in this case I didn't do it.

James M Graham
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Updated 21-01-24