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Library of Congress's National Film Registry

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beasterne
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Library of Congress's National Film Registry

#1

Post by beasterne » May 12th, 2020, 4:36 pm

I pulled up the Library Of Congress's website on a whim the other day, and I found that they take nominations for their list of films to include every year. They are accepting nominations until September 15th for films to include in the 2020 registry. Apparently, anyone can nominate up to 50 films this year. Link

This got me thinking, what films do you think deserve a place in the (American) National Film Registry? Has anyone on here ever nominated films before? How did it go? Are there any films that we might want to push for as a forum? Say, the top eligible films on the ICM 500<400, or the top eligible films on DTC?

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OldAle1
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#2

Post by OldAle1 » May 12th, 2020, 4:42 pm

I think I did actually nominate something in the very early years - pre-internet (for me) though and I have no idea what it might have been; some friends and I paid really close attention to that list in the early years.

I may put some thought into this later but the first thing I'd say is something I would have said had I actually played in the game you're doing for the AFI list - I'd absolutely NOT nominate anything that isn't mostly or entirely an American film. Lawrence of Arabia being the key sore spot. So it had one American producer and writer, and some money contributed to it's production, I assume, from Columbia - it's still 99% a fucking British film, and America of all countries doesn't need to lay claim to those famous classics - other David Lean films for example, and The Third Man, and Jackson's LOTR films - that simply aren't American except by virtue of American studios having more money than those in other parts of the world. This is a great enough national cinema as it is without adding in films that don't need any more exposure and that their filmmakers and real countries of origin can be proud to have made mostly independent of the Hollywood system.

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Lilarcor
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#3

Post by Lilarcor » May 12th, 2020, 6:39 pm

Some suggestions for films of technical/experimental/diversity significance:

John Whitney Sr's Film Exercises #1-#5 (1943-46)

Scotch Hop (Christopher Maclaine, 1953)

The Miracle of Todd-AO (1956)

Soft Fiction (Chick Strand, 1979)

Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982) (shocked it's not already on there)

Reassemblage: From the Firelight to the Screen (T. Minh-ha Trinh, 1983)

Removed (Naomi Uman, 1999)

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Minkin
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#4

Post by Minkin » May 12th, 2020, 6:53 pm

We should only recommend films which can only be seen at a single archive, and have multiple versions for the LoC to confuse. :P

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#5

Post by beasterne » May 12th, 2020, 7:39 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 4:42 pm
I think I did actually nominate something in the very early years - pre-internet (for me) though and I have no idea what it might have been; some friends and I paid really close attention to that list in the early years.

I may put some thought into this later but the first thing I'd say is something I would have said had I actually played in the game you're doing for the AFI list - I'd absolutely NOT nominate anything that isn't mostly or entirely an American film. Lawrence of Arabia being the key sore spot. So it had one American producer and writer, and some money contributed to it's production, I assume, from Columbia - it's still 99% a fucking British film, and America of all countries doesn't need to lay claim to those famous classics - other David Lean films for example, and The Third Man, and Jackson's LOTR films - that simply aren't American except by virtue of American studios having more money than those in other parts of the world. This is a great enough national cinema as it is without adding in films that don't need any more exposure and that their filmmakers and real countries of origin can be proud to have made mostly independent of the Hollywood system.
This is a really good point. I know the lines can get blurry sometimes when there are multiple different production companies involved, but Lawrence just reads as British through and through. It has a British director, British stars, it's a biopic of a famous Brit...seems strange to want to claim that as a significant American film.


Lilarcor wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 6:39 pm
Some suggestions for films of technical/experimental/diversity significance:

John Whitney Sr's Film Exercises #1-#5 (1943-46)

Scotch Hop (Christopher Maclaine, 1953)

The Miracle of Todd-AO (1956)

Soft Fiction (Chick Strand, 1979)

Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982) (shocked it's not already on there)

Reassemblage: From the Firelight to the Screen (T. Minh-ha Trinh, 1983)

Removed (Naomi Uman, 1999)
See, this is great! I've heard of/seen none of these, but I'll definitely check them out.


Minkin wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 6:53 pm
We should only recommend films which can only be seen at a single archive, and have multiple versions for the LoC to confuse. :P
:D

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OldAle1
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#6

Post by OldAle1 » May 12th, 2020, 7:52 pm

beasterne wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 7:39 pm
OldAle1 wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 4:42 pm
I think I did actually nominate something in the very early years - pre-internet (for me) though and I have no idea what it might have been; some friends and I paid really close attention to that list in the early years.

I may put some thought into this later but the first thing I'd say is something I would have said had I actually played in the game you're doing for the AFI list - I'd absolutely NOT nominate anything that isn't mostly or entirely an American film. Lawrence of Arabia being the key sore spot. So it had one American producer and writer, and some money contributed to it's production, I assume, from Columbia - it's still 99% a fucking British film, and America of all countries doesn't need to lay claim to those famous classics - other David Lean films for example, and The Third Man, and Jackson's LOTR films - that simply aren't American except by virtue of American studios having more money than those in other parts of the world. This is a great enough national cinema as it is without adding in films that don't need any more exposure and that their filmmakers and real countries of origin can be proud to have made mostly independent of the Hollywood system.
This is a really good point. I know the lines can get blurry sometimes when there are multiple different production companies involved, but Lawrence just reads as British through and through. It has a British director, British stars, it's a biopic of a famous Brit...seems strange to want to claim that as a significant American film.

It's more of an irritation for me with the AFI lists which go on and on about celebrating AMERICAN film but include lots of "coproductions" that really aren't American at all except for some of the financing. I know a lot of people will argue that the financing really is important but even if it is, to me it takes away something from both these other countries and from America. Sorry, the Bond films and the Harry Potter films, just as obvious examples, ain't American, they are British to the core, and just because it's difficult to finance expensive films without going to some big American company, America shouldn't get to claim them. Anyway, my 2 cents.

I like the votes for experimental films so far; my own first choice would probably be

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, likely my favorite American film that's not already on the list and is old enough to qualify.

Others -

Mandingo - to my mind the best film about slavery - about just how ugly and immoral and downright insane the whole concept is - but a film that is still highly controversial and generally hated; seems unlikely that it will ever appear in any lists apart from Rosenbaum's

Western Union - Fritz Lang's best western and IMO best American film, with Randolph Scott's best performance apart from his work with Boetticher and Peckinpah at the end of his career

and finally, two co-productions which I think actually do deserve recognition as great American (in part) films:

Mur Murs, Agnès Varda's best documentary, about muralists in Los Angeles in the late 60s

Batang West Side, Lav Diaz' only part-American film, the first of his lengthy works, about the Filipino diaspora as reflected in the lives of a murder victim and the man investigating it in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Unlike Lawrence or The Third Man, these last two films are about portions of the American experience, and could not have been made anywhere else, with senses of American-ness that are about much more than where the money came from.

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#7

Post by weirdboy » May 13th, 2020, 5:05 am

Rabbit of Seville (1950)

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