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National Film Registry


LawrenceA
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The list of films chosen for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been released. This year's titles include:

 

Life of an American Fireman  (1903)

The Musketeers of Pig Alley  (1912)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea  (1916)

Steamboat Bill Jr.  (1928)

Lost Horizon  (1937)

Ball of Fire  (1941)

A Walk In the Sun  (1945)

Blackboard Jungle  (1955)

East of Eden  (1955)

The Birds  (1963)

Point Blank  (1967)

Funny Girl  (1968)

Putney Swope  (1969)

The Decline of Western Civilization  (1981)

The Atomic Cafe  (1982)

The Breakfast Club  (1985)

The Princess Bride  (1987)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Paris Is Burning  (1990)

Thelma & Louise  (1991)

The Lion King  (1994)

Rushmore  (1998)

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hmmm.

 

i always scratch my head a little when these lists include pretty recent titles, especially films like THE LION KING, which

 

A. Isn't particularly good.

B. Comes from the most powerful film studio around and really doesn't need anyone preserving the negative or vaulting it so it doesn't decay away.

 

it seems to me like there are far more titles from the 70's on down that are in real danger of being lost, "Badge of Honor" or not, many of these titles, while socially significant, are nowhere near the danger of a lot of silents, docs, and independent or Public Domain films.

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At least all the choices from Steamboat Bill Jr. to Point Blank are good, either for the quality of the film or the historical importance or both, and it's good that silent movies and independent productions are being preserved.

 

About one of the later choices, my only comment would be, "Geez, Louise."

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"The Lion King" is almost 20 years old so not exactly "pretty recent."  "The Little Mermaid" revitalized Disney animation and is pushing 30 years old, but it still hasn't been put in the registry.

 

But yes, this year's entries have some of the youngest films ever put on the list.  That's the millennial effect.  But I don't really consider films from the 80s and 90s young anymore.  You have to start recognizing them as time goes on.

 

One thing I like about the registry is that it selects *all* kinds of films, from the Zapruder film to amateur short film like "Multiple Sidosis" (1970).  Maybe Youtube videos will eventually be recognized.  Some of them are pretty "culturally and aesthestically" significantly as well.

 

Still, the registry has a little bit PR about it.  The work done by Library of Congress and National Film Preservation can't really be summed up every year by 10 or 15 titles.  You can sample some of their work on the various movie discs they have put out:

 

http://www.filmpreservation.org/dvds-and-books/treasures-from-american-film-archives

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i'm glad to see Lost Horizon (1937) has finally been included as one of the preservation efforts of the National Film Registry. (the Peter O'Toole remake is best left unpreserved! i think his version must be one the films he's speaking of when he says his singing voice bankrupted a few studios.

 

the story as related on the DVD of the effort to restore as much as possible (at the time) is compelling. have any of the missing parts (represented on the DVD by the audio track over stills;  100% of the audio track still exists) ever been found?

 

 

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"The Lion King" is almost 20 years old so not exactly "pretty recent."  "The Little Mermaid" revitalized Disney animation and is pushing 30 years old, but it still hasn't been put in the registry.

 

But yes, this year's entries have some of the youngest films ever put on the list.  That's the millennial effect.  But I don't really consider films from the 80s and 90s young anymore.  You have to start recognizing them as time goes on.

 

 

I'm gonna pull a Sherlock here and guess: you're young aren't you?

 

(i just say this 'cause i've more or less been through 20 years twice, and you'd be surprised how "pretty recent" 20 years ago can seem.)

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i'm glad to see Lost Horizon (1937) has finally been included as one of the preservation efforts of the National Film Registry. (the Peter O'Toole remake is best left unpreserved! i think his version must be one the films he's speaking of when he says his singing voice bankrupted a few studios.

 

i think you're thinking of the crappy 1969 musical remake of GOODBYE MR CHIPS...The crappy 1973 LOST HORIZON musical remake had Liv Ullman and John Geilgud, but no O'Toole as i RECall.

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I don't know all what's on the registry already, so I can't make any suggestions.

 

I can only "register" surprise that many of the silents on the list aren't already IN the registry.

 

There were 700 films in the Registry before this year's list. You'll forgive me for not listing them all, but the complete list can be found on Wikipedia on the National Film Registry page.

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Lawrence, you omitted three of the 25 movies:

 

The Beau Brummels (1928),

Suzanne, Suzanne (1982), and

a selection of historical footage by Baptist minister Solomon Sir Jones, documenting Oklahoma's black Baptist communities of the 1920s.

 

The last one shows how the registry isn't about preserving Hollywood, but about preserving things that are culturally significant. Somebody else mentioned the Zapruder film; home movies from the first year of Disneyland and the New York World's Fairs have also been selected. I'd argue that The Lion King (not that I care for it) certainly is a culturally significant part of the mid-90s.

 

They also let people suggest movies for the registry, which I did a couple of years back, although I don't think any of my suggestions were adopted. I recall picking:

 

The Cat Concerto, since I don't think there were any Tom and Jerry shorts on the registry at the time;

Night Descends on Treasure Island, a Traveltalks short about a 1939 international exposition on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay; and

The Case against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theaters. It's a look at how the small-town theater owners styled themselves as being important to their local communities.

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I'm gonna pull a Sherlock here and guess: you're young aren't you?

 

(i just say this 'cause i've more or less been through 20 years twice, and you'd be surprised how "pretty recent" 20 years ago can seem.)

 

And I've been through 20 years almost thrice now!  20 years *is* a long time for a film, especially non-digital ones.  Film prints and negatives deteriorate over time and usually need restoration every 10 years or so.  Since 1998, "The Lion King" has at least been remastered (in which some restoration is often required) twice: in 2003 for the Platinum DVD, and 2011 for the Diamond Blu-ray edition and 3D edition.  DVDs/Blu-rays give studios the incentive to keep restoring films, because they want their films to look their best, and naturally so do consumers.

 

You mentioned earlier that films by major studios don't really need preserving, and you couldn't be wronger here.  The irony is that major studios, due to their bigger outputs and more commercialized businesses, are just as apt to neglect their older products as much as any company, perhaps even more so.  E.g. the 1953 3D film "Inferno", starring Rhonda Fleming, was restored by an independent film company, which had to fund the work by itself because the original studio, Universal, wouldn't provide any funding.

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I can't blame Universal for not wanting to fund the restoration of Inferno, seeing as it was a Fox film. :P

 

Correct, it was Fox.  But what I said earlier was true.  This is the 3D Blu-ray of "Inferno", and the included booklet says Fox did not provide any financial assistance in restoring the film nor producing the Blu-ray (which had to be made by a small UK publisher called Panamint).

 

The people who restored "Inferno" later also restored the 3D version of "It Came From Outer Space" (1953), and a nice 3D Blu-ray also came out of it.  Apparently, this time the studio, Universal, did help, since Universal produced the Blu-ray.

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hmmm.

 

i always scratch my head a little when these lists include pretty recent titles, especially films like THE LION KING, which

 

A. Isn't particularly good.

B. Comes from the most powerful film studio around and really doesn't need anyone preserving the negative or vaulting it so it doesn't decay away.

 

There was a documentary a couple years ago--title escapes me, but it played Netflix, PBS, and maybe TCM, I think?--about how films get selected for the National Registry.

It's not on any basis of minimum age or pedigree, like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:  Basically, all a movie title needs is someone to stand up for the nomination, and make a convincing film-school case why it needs to be remembered.  

Even the guy who nominated Rocky Horror Picture Show and "Let's all go to the lobby", because, well, why not?...Are we saying they shouldn't be preserved?

 

And really, I'm just responding just to express gratitude to the only other human being I've met in my life honest enough to admit that the Lion King just isn't really particularly very good.

(I remember spending the first ten years punching out anyone who still bought Jeffrey Katzenberg's either contemptuous or idiotic "It's Hamlet!" excuse for stealing what was supposed to be Disney's failed license for a Japanese anime show, and then facepalming at what Linda Woolverton did to the story, years before she let loose on the Alice movies.)

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There were 700 films in the Registry before this year's list. You'll forgive me for not listing them all, but the complete list can be found on Wikipedia on the National Film Registry page.

LawrenceA, a couple things pal I usedto have it in my files-(still do in a vital MUST HAVE BOOK you just gotta' get, same goes w/any true cinephile!!!)

 

 

"AFI DESK REFERENCE" By Melinda Corey & George 0choa Mine's a bit dated now, not sure if there's a (revised) edition, even so check it out!

 

It's deceiving & covers every single thing about the movies

 

Ever hear of it?

 

But, when did the Film Registry start?

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The list of films chosen for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been released. This year's titles include:

 

Life of an American Fireman  (1903)

The Musketeers of Pig Alley  (1912)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea  (1916)

Steamboat Bill Jr.  (1928)(4 stars!)

Lost Horizon  (1937))****-stars!)

Ball of Fire  (1941)(4!)

A Walk In the Sun  (1945)(***1/2)

Blackboard Jungle  (1955)(***1/2)

East of Eden  (1955)(4 stars!)(4!)

The Birds  (1963)(***1/2)

Point Blank  (1967)(3 & 1/2)

Funny Girl  (1968) (3 & 1/2)

Putney Swope  (1969)

The Decline of Western Civilization  (1981)

The Atomic Cafe  (1982)

The Breakfast Club  (1985)($46m.)(***)

The Princess Bride  (1987)($31m.)(***)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)($154m.)(4 STARS!)

Paris Is Burning  (1990)

Thelma & Louise  (1991)($45m.)(***1/2)

The Lion King  (1994)($313m.)(***)

Rushmore  (1998)($18m.)(***1/2-out of 4 stars)

 

Have you already seen most of these?

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The National Film Registry is a bit like the "AFI 100 Best..." lists that we saw in 1998-2008.  There is a bit of PR aspect to them, a way for studios to promote their films.  The registry supposedly adds some "legal" protection to the films, but I doubt anyone would get arrested for anything.  "It's a Wonderful Life" has been on the registry for a long time, and yet we still see colorized versions of it being created and sold, even though the registry is supposed to preserve the film in its original form.

 

A national registry for television shows should be in order too.  Many TV shows were "filmed" (on celluloid), just like movies, and could use the same kind of preservation and restoration (and some PR promotion) that movies do.

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A national registry for television shows should be in order too.  Many TV shows were "filmed" (on celluloid), just like movies, and could use the same kind of preservation and restoration (and some PR promotion) that movies do.

 

When I was in NYC, I always used to visit the Paley Center for Media, back when it was still called the Museum of Broadcasting, on 52nd St., where they curated rare videotapes from television history, especially rare live-TV kinescopes.  

Not sure if they're connected with the Museum of Broadcasting in Chicago, though, which tends to be a little more commercial but finds the rare stuff.

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