December 30, 2005

National Film Registry

Each year, twenty five films are selected to be included in the National Film Registry.

Here's what that means:

For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress works to ensure that the film is preserved for all time, either through the Library's massive motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The Library of Congress contains the largest collections of film and television in the world, from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture to the latest feature releases.

Each year, films are nominated by the public and are carefully evaluated.

Here's a bit more about the criteria:

"The films we choose are not necessarily the 'best' American films ever made or the most famous, but they are films that continue to have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance," Billington said.

This year, the films include a Buster Keaton comedy, the Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street", "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", and "Toy Story". See the entire list here. There are some surprising titles there.

More from the article:

Half the movies made before 1950 and 80 percent to 90 percent of those produced before 1920 have disappeared, [Billington] said.

Among the more interesting additions was a 1906 documentary about the San Fransisco earthquake and fire. The disaster was one of the first ever documented on film.

While you're checking out the site, follow the link to the Moving Image Archives. I think I'll be spending many happy hours there.

Posted by: Ted at 05:32 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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