Thursday, July 26, 2012

These Amazing Shadows: The Movies that Make America

Release Date: 2011
Production Company: Gravitas LLC
Directors: Paul Mariano and Kurt Morton
Run time: PBS Version 57 minutes, Full Version, 88 minutes
Seen on: PBS Independent Lens, Available on Netflix streaming

This documentary focuses on the National Film Registry, the United States Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation for the Library of Congress.  Each year, 25 films are selected for preservation which are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  The films selected must be at least 10 years old and range from blockbusters to technological advances.

I was impressed by These Amazing Shadows.  As a preservationist, I felt compelled to watch it to see what has been saved for the future.  It reminded me of great films (Toy Story and Blazing Saddles) and compelled me to watch more (Blade Runner).  When researching details from this post, I stumbled across a blogger who is watching all 575 films in the National Film Registry.  I haven't had a chance to read many of her posts yet, but it looks like she has reviewed over 100 of them so far.

These Amazing Shadows reminds us what is great about films and why they are just as important to our heritage as painting, sculpture, or architecture.  Films are indeed a capsule of the time.

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