Earlier this week The Library of Congress announced this year’s additions to the National Film Registry, “showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage.” Starting in 1989 each year the National Film Registry has identified 25 “works of enduring importance to American culture,” earmarking them for preservation. The registry contains a remarkable range of films, including feature narratives, documentaries, experimental shorts, home movies, trailers, and more. From Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz to Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon to the Zapruder film to the 1957 movie theatre trailer “Let’s All Go to the Lobby!” and on and on. Check out the complete list here.
When looking through this year’s list I noticed that 5 of the 25 new additions have screened at IU Cinema: Ball of Fire, The Birds, The Decline of Western Civilization, Paris Burning, and Point Blank. That made me curious to discover how many of the films on the complete National Film Registry list have screened at IU Cinema. I did some investigating and so far I’ve spotted 131 films that have screened—or will screen this spring—at IU Cinema. I’ve compiled the list on Letterboxd. That’s about 19% of the total number of films on the National Film Registry—not bad for the Cinema’s first 6 years of operation. I’m sure IU Cinema will continue to include National Film Registry selections in the future as well. It’ll be fun to see which one’s get chosen. I’ve probably missed a few, so if you notice any National Film Registry movies IU Cinema has screened that aren’t included on my list yet, please let me know and I’ll add them.
Want to help The Library of Congress choose next year’s films? The Library of Congress invites you to nominate up to 50 titles per year. “Public nominations play a key role when the Librarian and Film Board are considering their final selections.” They must be American films ‘at least 10 years old and be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”‘ Visit their website for details and to access the online nomination form.
I’m going to compile my own list of 50 suggestions and send them in. I always mean to and this year I’m going to do it! How about you? If you do, please share your list on IU Cinema’s Facebook page here.
Barbara Ann O’Leary, Indiana University Cinema’s Social Media and Web Specialist, is delighted to serve as editor of A Place for Film Blog. Barbara’s love of film—particularly the work of women filmmakers—inspired her to launch the #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party initiative.