What do the films Casablanca, Blazing Saddles, and West Side Story have in common? Besides being popular, they have also been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," by the Library of Congress and listed on the National Film Registry. These Amazing Shadows tells the history and importance of The Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself. The current list of 525 films includes selections from every genre - documentaries, home movies, Hollywood classics, avant-garde, newsreels and silent films. These Amazing Shadows reveals how American movies tell us so much about ourselves...not just what we did, but what we thought, what we felt, what we aspired to, and the lies we told ourselves. Written by
Wonderfully entertaining documentary taking a look at the National Film Registry, its history and what the group hopes to happen going forward. A brief history is given at the start of the movie but basically in the 1980s Ted Turner bought the MGM library and immediately started colorizing movies. Various Hollywood types including Woody Allen and James Stewart went to Congress to talk about the importance of movies and in 1989 this registry was formed so that we can save future generations movies. The only real negative thing that can be said about this film is that it's way too short even at 92-minutes. I think the most fascinating stuff happens early on when we see the history of the registry and we even get to hear how the twenty-five movies are selected each year. I think this here is the greatest part of the movie because we get to see what type of movies they're looking for and what it takes to get in. There's also an interesting topic going over preservation and why this here is so important and especially when you consider that 80% of silent movies are now lost. Rob Reiner, Christopher Nolan, John Waters, George Takei and Tim Roth are just a few of the famous faces on hand talking about preservation. Many others including people on the board are also interviewed and they talk about some of their favorite films as well as films that they got into the registry. We also have a section devoted to some of the controversial movies including THE BIRTH OF A NATION and THE SEARCHERS. Overall, this is a very entertaining documentary that film buffs are going to love and if you're new to classic cinema this will be a very good place to get some great recommendations.
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