Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Official

The National Film Registry has chosen it's latest 25 film to preserve:

Airplane! (1980)
All the President's Men (1976)
The Bargain (1914)
Cry of Jazz (1959)
Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Front Page (1931)
Grey Gardens (1976)
I Am Joaquin (1969)
It's a Gift (1934)
Let There Be Light (1946)
Lonesome (1928)
Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)
Malcolm X (1992)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Newark Athlete (1891)
Our Lady of the Sphere (1969)
The Pink Panther (1964)
Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Study of a River (1966)
Tarantella (1940)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
A Trip Down Market Street (1906)

In addition to their artistic qualities, the films are chosen for their cultural and historical significance.

Many of the films, especially the earlier ones, I haven't seen, or even heard of.  (Newark Athlete from 1891?  Wow!)  The more conventional Hollywood narrative films I know.  It's nice to see something from recently departed Leslie Nielsen and Blake Edwards included.  And two for George Lucas--an early indication of his talent, the first THX 1138 film, and what some might claim to be his last great work, Empire Strikes Back.

The Front Page was highly thought of when it came out, but has long been overshadowed by His Girl Friday.  It's worth looking at, even if the early sound quality isn't great and some of Lewis Milestone's camera tricks are annoying.

And look, two days after I wrote about it, Make Way For Tomorrow makes the list.  Pajama Guy gets results!

I have a few problems.  Spike Lee's biopic of Malcolm X (as opposed to the actual autobiography) doesn't seem that significant to me.  I never thought that much of it, but do even the critics who first defended it think it's held up that well?

I don't like Saturday Night Fever that much, but I suppose it was culturally significant in that it was responsible for a lot of bad music.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was highly regarded in its day, and still has fans, but I've always found it pretty dreary.

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