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Tag: Library of Congress (1-3 of 3)

'Pulp Fiction,' 'Mary Poppins' among movies selected for National Film Registry

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.

Or, you know, when the Library of Congress decides that Pulp Fiction has been recognized as a work of “great cultural, historic or aesthetic significance to the nation’s cinematic heritage.” The Library announced today that Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 masterpiece is among 25 motion pictures that have been selected to join the National Film Registry, a moving-image collection that now numbers 1.2 million items.

The Registry’s new additions run the gamut, including everything from a beloved family musical (Mary Poppins) to a seminal western (The Magnificent Seven), an acerbic deconstruction of marriage (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?), a classic film noir (Gilda), a fact-based celebration of the U.S.’s space pioneers (The Right Stuff), and a groundbreaking sci-fi epic (Forbidden Planet).

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New report: 70 percent of America's silent films are gone forever

Seventy percent of America’s silent films from 1912-29, an era that established Hollywood and American cinema as a lucrative and prominent art form, are gone forever. A new study commissioned by the National Film Preservation Board and unveiled by the Library of Congress revealed that of the nearly 11,000 silent feature films released during that period, only 30 percent are still in existence — and more than half of those are incomplete or remain only in foreign versions or in lower-quality formats, like 28 mm or 16 mm.

“The Library of Congress can now authoritatively report that the loss of American silent-era feature films constitutes an alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “We have lost most of the creative record from the era that brought American movies to the pinnacle of world cinematic achievement in the 20th century.”

In the last 80 years, thousands of films — some of them classics — have been lost due to chemical decay, fire, lack of commercial value, and the cost of storage. Lon Chaney’s London After Midnight (1927, pictured above), The Patriot (1928), Cleopatra (1917), and The Great Gatsby (1926) are a few of the casualties, and only five of Will Rogers’ 16 silent features still exist.

The study highlights on ongoing effort to locate and preserve copies of American silent films in any form, and the study notes that more than a quarter of the existing films had been found in other countries.

“This report is invaluable because the artistry of silent film is essential to our culture,” said Martin Scorsese. “Any time a silent picture by some miracle turns up, it reminds us of the treasures we’ve already lost. It also gives us hope that others may be discovered. The research presented in this report serves as a road map to finding silent films we once thought were gone forever and encourages creative partnerships between archives and the film industry to save silent cinema.”

Visit the Library of Congress site to read more about the study.

National Film Registry adds 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,' 'Dirty Harry,' 'The Matrix'

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dirty Harry, and A League of Their Own will be preserved for their enduring significance in American culture at by the Library of Congress, along with A Christmas Story and some pioneering sports movies.

They are among 25 selections the library is inducting Wednesday into the National Film Registry. Congress created the program in 1989 to preserve films for their cultural or historical significance. The latest additions bring the registry to 600 films that include Hollywood features, documentaries, independent films and early experimental flicks.

The newest film chosen for preservation is 1999’s The Matrix, noted for its state-of-the-art special effects and computer-generated animation with a style that drew on Hong Kong action films and Japanese anime to change science fiction filmmaking, curators noted. READ FULL STORY

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