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January 7 at 12:10pm

More Indies Needed In The National Registry

By Ted Hope

I blogged about this at this time last year. The National Film Registry just released this years films. And although we do have a real indie (The Exiles) and some amateur work in the 25 selected, the Amer-Indie wave of the last 20 years is still missing. We can do something about that. We can nominate films for the registry.

Write in to the Registry and suggest a film. Email them at:
sleg@loc.gov
In fact you nominate up to fifty! It must be at least ten years old. But let’s get started for oh ten.
The indie community needs to wake up to preservation issues. All the digi work is extremely vulnerable. There needs to be more of a discussion on this, and active effort of all to at least get to a film print (which can last 100 years vs. the 10 of digital formats).
Anyway: my recommendations this year are a lot like last years:
Melvin Van Peebles’ SWEET SWEETBACK’S BADASSSS SONG (1971)
Susan Seidelman’s SMITHEREENS (1982)
Bette Gordon’s VARIETY (1983)
Alex Cox’s SID AND NANCY (1986)
Spike Lee’s SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT (1986 )
Hal Hartley’s THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH (1989)
Whit Stillman’s METROPOLITAN (1990)
John McNaughton’s HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1990)
Todd Hayne’s POISON (1991)
Hal Hartley’s TRUST (1991)
Gregg Araki’s THE LIVING END (1992)
Allison Anders’ MI VIDA LOCA (1993)
Ang Lee’s THE WEDDING BANQUET (1993)
Tom Noonan’s WHAT HAPPENED WAS… (1993)
Terry Zwigoff’s CRUMB (1994)
Greg Mottola’s THE DAYTRIPPERS (1996)
Neal Labute’s IN THE COMPANY OF MEN (1997)
Todd Solondz’s HAPPINESS (1998)


What are your recommendations?


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6 Comments

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  1. pangofilms / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    Good luck getting The Living End into the Government's vaults. I love it, but this is America. In fact, half of these would still be controversial, maybe even more so in today's world. Sid and Nancy is a great choice. What a great film. One of those films that you can't believe so many people don't like it.

    Why does the registry take so few film every year? Why is it like an awards ceremony for "classics" instead of a genuine, scholarly attempt to preserve important films?

  2. erin / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    I'm surprised that you don't have Richard Linklater's "Slacker" on that list. A fine piece of Americana, that movie is.

  3. JeanDodge / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    I'd add STRANGER THAN PARADISE, SLACKER and SHERMAN'S MARCH to that list. But, having said that, screw these academies and their restrictive lists. I never expected these films to get this far anyway.

    Influential films from other eras, like Hawks' SCARFACE or Cassavettes' early films, or even the New Hollywood era movies like TWO LANE BLACKTOP waited much longer to be canonized outside of a small circle of film critics and fans, but their influence was felt by audiences and film makers just the same.

  4. Ted Hope / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    Erin & JeanDodge, definitely agree with you on those! Thanks.

  5. Anonymous / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    DId you folks actually look at the list? Just because your favorites are on it doesn't mean it's restrictive. I have other issues with the registry–specifically, the fact that it's a meaningless gesture toward films that have already been preserved, rather than an actual attempt at preserving endangered films–but it's silly to act like it's only canonizing "classics" with these films on the list:
    The Exiles (1961)
    Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972)
    The Jungle (1967)
    The Lead Shoes (1949)
    Little Nemo (1911)
    Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)
    The Red Book (1994)
    The Revenge of Pancho Villa (1930-36)
    Scratch and Crow (1995)
    Stark Love (1927)

  6. Ted Hope / Jan 7 at 12:10pm

    Hey Anonymous (whomever you are) — I don't think anyone said that they were canonizing only "classics". I was just saying I wanted more Indies in the Registry. I am glad we can make recommendations. I am encouraging all fans and cinema lovers to write in and suggest what they want. And of course I would like it to be more of what I want. I am all in favor of anything to do with Winsor McKay being cannonized though!
    Ted

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