7.6/10
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These Amazing Shadows (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 22 January 2011 (USA)
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Tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeff Adachi ...
Himself
James H. Billington ...
Himself
Robin Blaetz ...
Herself
Brooks Boliek ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Jay Carr ...
Himself
Martin Cohen ...
Himself
...
Himself
Arlene Damron ...
Herself
...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
Kristine Fong ...
Herself
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Storyline

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 Gravitas Docufilms

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. See more »

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Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lost Forever  »

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Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robin Blaetz, Chair of Film Studies, Mount Holyoke College, is the very first and very last interview subject seen on screen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Ptak: There is nothing like going to a theater, a communal atmosphere, watching something that is bigger than life.
Robin Blaetz: It's dark, you don't look at anybody...
John Ptak: And then the movie started, and it was really, really magical.
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Features All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific Look at the National Film Registry
6 January 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

These Amazing Shadows (2011)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

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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