Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Picks for the National Film Registry 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

If it's Thanksgiving I'm contemplating my e-mail "voting" to the Nat'l Film Registry (for NEXT year), they close their polling in the fall; I vote right after the new year. But on Thanksgiving for this blog I reveal my picks for this year below. We'll see how many of mine they pick.

In one month, the Library of Congress will announce the next 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry. Last year's list spanned the years 1912-1994, and included: The Kid (1921), Bambi (1942), Faces (1968), Norma Rae (1979), and Forrest Gump (1994).   Also included were the usual selection of obscurer, but no-less-deserving picks such as the avant garde film Allures (1961) by Jordan Belson.  A link to the Hollywood Reporter article from last year can be found here; I was mixed on the selections last year (although I was happy they caught up on three Oscar-winning Best Pictures: in addition to Gump, were The Lost Weekend and The Silence of the Lambs)... I hope they chose better this year.

The National Film Registry started in 1989, and there are currently 575 films on the list.  Although the obscure films and historically important documentaries fulfill the mandate of the Registry, there does seem to be a movement to include those fictional feature films that are great films (more of a Sight and Sound approach) or cult films (such as new selection El Mariachi) and not just historically or culturally important ones (there are still many Oscar-winning Best Pictures not on the list, for example).

Below are my picks for what should be added to this year's list (I only do the narrative feature films: I'll let the Library of Congress decide on the obscure works).  To me, the film that most needs to be added above all (my choice for three years running!) is Blue Velvet.  Last year just one of my picks made the list: Bambi (1942), at long last. 

My choices for this go-round, by year:

1910s-20s-30s (3 titles)
A Tale of Two Cities (1917)
The Sheik (1921)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

1940s (5 titles)
The Little Foxes (1941)
Lifeboat (1944)
To Have and Have Not (1944)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

1950s (10 titles)
Harvey (1950)
The Red Badge Of Courage (1951)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Limelight (1952)
The Quiet Man (1952)
Stalag 17 (1953)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
The Killing (1956)
The King and I (1956)
Auntie Mame (1958)

1960s (10 titles)
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
101 Dalmatians (1961)
Lolita (1962)
The Birds (1963)
The Great Escape (1963)
Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
The Naked Kiss (1964)
Seconds (1966)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

1970s (10 titles)
Love Story (1970)
Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three (1974)
The Sunshine Boys (1975)
The Front (1976)
Grease (1978)
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

1980s (10 titles)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Arthur (1981)
The World According to Garp (1982)
A Christmas Story (1983)
Aliens (1986)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Wall Street (1987)
Die Hard (1988)

1990s (2 titles)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Titanic (1997)

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