IMDb Polls

Poll: 2015 National Film Registry

Like every year since 1989, the Library of Congress added 25 titles to the National Film Registry (NFR) whose aim is to conserve and preserve cinematographic works considered important from a cultural, historical or aesthetic point of view.

The following list contains the 25 new titles added in the NFR in December 2015. For each title, there is an extract of the justification published on the official website of the Library of Congress.

In your opinion, which of these titles most deserves to be preserved for the future generations?

Discuss here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Being There (1979)

    "(...) Jerzy Kosinski, assisted by award-winning screenwriter Robert C. Jones, adapted his 1971 novel for the screenplay which Hal Ashby directed with an understatement to match the subtlety and precision of Sellers’ Academy Award-nominated performance. (...) Film critic Robert Ebert said he admired the film for "having the guts to take this totally weird conceit and push it to its ultimate comic conclusion." That conclusion is a philosophically complex film that has remained fresh and relevant."
  2. Vote!
     

    Black and Tan Fantasy (1929)

    "One of the first short musical films to showcase African-American jazz musicians (...). The film reflects the cultural, social and artistic explosion of the 1920s that became known as the Harlem Renaissance."
  3. Vote!
     

    Drácula (1931)

    "When talkies arrived, American studios began shooting foreign-language versions for international and non-English-speaking domestic markets, generally at the same time they filmed the English versions. In one of the most famous examples of this practice, a second crew—including a different director and stars—shot at night on the same sets used during the day for the English version of the Bram Stoker classic starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning. In recent years, the Spanish version of the film, which is 20 minutes longer, has been lauded as superior in many ways to the English one, some theorizing that the Spanish-language crew had the advantage of watching the English dailies and improving on camera angles and making more effective use of lighting (...)."
  4. Vote!
     

    Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906)

    "(...) this short fantasy comedy by film pioneer Edwin S. Porter employed groundbreaking trick photography, including some of the earliest uses of double exposure in American cinema (...). To create the dream effects, he used a spinning camera and moveable set pieces, along with multiple exposures. Stop-motion and matte paintings added to the film’s whimsical appeal."
  5. Vote!
     

    Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975)

    "(...) this documentary delves into the work of the man whose pioneering studies and concept of persistence of vision led to the development of motion pictures. The film looks at Eadweard Muybridge’s personal and professional struggles, and examines the philosophical implications of his sequential photographs (...). In the Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum described the production as "One of the best essay films ever made on a cinematic subject."
  6. Vote!
     

    Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894)

    "One of the earliest film recordings and the oldest surviving copyrighted motion picture (...)".
  7. Vote!
     

    A Fool There Was (1915)

    "The phenomenal success of "A Fool There Was"—based on a Rudyard Kipling poem and a subsequent play—set off a publicity campaign unparalleled at the time centering on its star, an unknown actress bearing the exotic name of Theda Bara. Bara was promoted as "the woman with the most beautifully wicked face in the world" and became filmdom’s quintessential "vamp," enticing male pillars of society to relinquish family, career, respectable society, and even life itself, while yearning to remain under her entrancing spell (...)".
  8. Vote!
     

    Ghostbusters (1984)

    "One of the most popular, quotable films from the past three decades and a touchstone of cultural reference, "Ghostbusters" can also easily be seen as a loving homage to those earlier wacky horror comedies from Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope and others. (...) The infectious insanity of "Ghostbusters" makes it a favorite film of the ‘80s."
  9. Vote!
     

    Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

    "Writer-director Preston Sturges probably was the only filmmaker in Hollywood in the 1940s who could satirize the worship of war heroes and mothers during wartime. (...) The great French critic André Bazin called this film "a work that restores to American film a sense of social satire that I find equaled only ... in Chaplin’s films"."
  10. Vote!
     

    Humoresque (1920)

    "(...) Humoresque presented to mainstream American audiences a sympathetic portrayal of immigrant Jewish life through its vivid details of street life and rituals (...). Having solidly established its setting and characters through its many poignant and atmospheric touches, the film "touches the deep places of the heart," as one Variety reviewer wrote, and makes its audience believe that prayers are answered and that love can restore health."
  11. Vote!
     

    Imitation of Life (1959)

    "Film melodrama comes in many variations, but director Douglas Sirk’s style of domestic melodrama is marked by stylized interiors and use of mirrors, where the role of photography is crucial, with exquisite use of primary colors and camera angles to convey emotion and mood (...)."
  12. Vote!
     

    The Inner World of Aphasia (1968)

    "This empathic and often poetic medical-training film features a powerful performance by co-director Naomi Feil as a nurse who learns to cope with aphasia, the inability to speak as a result of a brain injury. Feil, a social worker whose career has focused on communicating with language-impaired patients, produced this film and dozens more with her husband Edward Feil. (...) More than 47 years later, the film is still being screened by media artists and independent filmmakers who appreciate its innovative artistic qualities. "
  13. Vote!
     

    John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946)

    "Stop-motion animation pioneer George Pal created this short film after the NAACP and Ebony magazine criticized his offensively stereotyped Jasper series of cartoons. The magazine later praised "John Henry" as the first Hollywood film to feature African-American folklore in a positive light and to treat its characters with "dignity, imagination, poetry, and love."."
  14. Vote!
     

    L.A. Confidential (1997)

    "This well-crafted and suspenseful story, directed by Curtis Hanson, teams a trio of incompatible cops who ultimately bring down a corrupt police department and political machine. (...) The cast is rounded out by Danny DeVito as the film's occasional narrator and reporter for "Hush-Hush" magazine, Kim Basinger as a Veronica Lake look-alike call girl, and James Cromwell as the duplicitous chief of police. Cinematographer Dante Spinotti infuses this homage with a Technicolor richness seldom seen in noirs of the 40s and 50s."
  15. Vote!
     

    The Mark of Zorro (1920)

    "Aware that post-World War I audiences had grown weary of the romantic comedies that had made him a star, [Douglas] Fairbanks adapted his persona to create a daring hero and established himself as an icon of American culture. The film, directed by Fred Niblo, also stars Marguerite De La Motte and Noah Beery. The Museum of Modern Art Department of Film has preserved the film."
  16. Vote!
     

    The Old Mill (1937)

    "This cartoon, produced by the Walt Disney Company as one of its Silly Symphony entries, depicts a community of animals (...) battling a severe thunderstorm that nearly destroys their home in an abandoned windmill. Directed by Wilfred Jackson, the film acted as a testing ground for audience interest in longer form animation as well as for advanced technologies, including the first use of the multiplane camera, which added three-dimensional depth. (...)"
  17. Vote!
     

    Our Daily Bread (1934)

    "Criticized for its purportedly socialist ideas and also for its seemingly fascistic traits, "Our Daily Bread" remains a document that embodied political contradictions that marked widely divergent contemporary assessments of the New Deal itself. In its widely acclaimed climactic ditch-digging sequence, the film presents images celebrated muscular working-class manhood that also marked public art of the period, which addressed anxieties about the masculinity during times of economic crisis."
  18. Vote!
     

    Portrait of Jason (1967)

    "In one of the first LGBT films widely accepted by general audiences, Shirley Clarke explored the blurred lines between fact and fiction, allowing her subject, Jason Holliday (né Aaron Payne), a gay hustler and nightclub entertainer, to talk about his life with candor, pathos and humor in one 12-hour shoot. (...) Bosley Crowther of "The New York Times" described it as a "curious and fascinating example of cinéma vérité, all the ramifications of which cannot be immediately known." Legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman called it "the most extraordinary film I've seen in my life." (...)"
  19. Vote!
     

    Seconds (1966)

    "(...) Director John Frankenheimer crafts a memorably creepy sense of foreboding in "Seconds," aided immensely by the black-and-white cinematography, disorienting camera angles and lenses of cameraman James Wong Howe, as well as Jerry Goldsmith’s eerie score. (...)"
  20. Vote!
     

    The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    "From a modest start as a critical success, but something of a commercial bust upon initial release, "The Shawshank Redemption" now often rates as the top film in IMDb polling. (...) Critics have struggled at times to explain the immense public affection for "Shawshank," but perhaps it’s due to the poignant Thomas Newman score and most importantly the moving character portrayals and deep friendship between inmates Robbins and Morgan Freeman, highlighting the abiding resilience of the human spirit."
  21. Vote!
     

    Sink or Swim (1990)

    "In this autobiographical tale told in voice-over by a teenage girl (Jessica Lynn), Su Friedrich relates a series of 26 short vignettes that reveal a subtext of a father preoccupied by his career and of a daughter emotionally scarred by his behavior. Black-and-white film clips of ordinary daily activities illustrate Friedrich’s poetically powerful text to create a complex and intense film. (...)"
  22. Vote!
     

    The Story of Menstruation (1946)

    "(...) this title was produced by the Walt Disney Company through its Educational and Industrial Film Division. Distributed free to schools and girls’ clubs with an accompanying pamphlet titled "Very Personally Yours," the film used friendly Disney-style characters and gentle narration to "encourage a healthy, normal attitude" toward menstruation. Although a few such educational filmstrips were available before World War II, this version was seen as more progressive than previous offerings and, according to advertisements in "The Educational Screen," it replaced superstitions with "scientific facts" and dispelled "embarrassment." Some contemporary scholars, however, take issue with the approach (...)."
  23. Vote!
     

    Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

    "(...) The film is a unique 1960s’ time capsule, a telling look at the myriad tensions involved in film creation—a film on the making of a film—with three camera crews recording different parts of the process and personalities involved (director, actors, crew, bystanders). Though Greaves is undoubtedly the film’s visionary auteur—notable for an African-American filmmaker in the 1960s—it is truly a film made collectively by Greaves and his multi-racial crew, whose staging of an on-set rebellion becomes the film’s drama and its platform for sociopolitical critique and revolutionary philosophy (...)."
  24. Vote!
     

    Top Gun (1986)

    "Though a wag might be tempted to call this Tony Scott film "The Testosterone Chronicles," the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer production actually comprises a deft portrait of mid-1980s America, when politicians promised "Morning in America Again," and singers crooned "God Bless the U.S.A." (...)."
  25. Vote!
     

    Winchester '73 (1950)

    "(...) Film historian Scott Simmon calls "Winchester ‘73" "the La Ronde of Death, as opposed to the love that keeps the Schnitzler play in motion," and "the film where a gun is more of an object of worship than in any other American film." Ironically, in light of current debates about gun-carry rights, it’s fascinating that even in this most gun-obsessed of movies, nobody is allowed to carry a gun in town. (...)"

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