Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to... See full summary »
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
Robin Blaetz, Chair of Film Studies, Mount Holyoke College, is the very first and very last interview subject seen on screen. See more »
There is nothing like going to a theater, a communal atmosphere, watching something that is bigger than life.
It's dark, you don't look at anybody...
And then the movie started, and it was really, really magical.
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I understand the need to preserve great old movies, and the national registry seems like a great thing for doing this. Will help us remember the way people dressed, and their mannerisms... to see old cars, and street views...for that these old movies are priceless...
But then.... this documentary goes into how movies will remind us of our past history... What?.... wrong! Nice try Hollywood, but, anyone with half a brain should understand that movies are movies... Fake, false.... even the ones that say they are based on fact are not factual, or as Hollywood would put it in the credits, "this film was enhanced for dramatic effect".
Then it gets worse... this documentary tries to say that because someone made movies exploiting women, that was the culture of our time. Because someone made a movie that was blatantly racist, that was the culture of our time...it falls to diversification for the sake of diversification. No longer able to base it's own judgment on good vs bad, but more on what's good for specific minority groups.
For example, they have an American Indian man they are interviewing that is appalled at the way Indians were depicted in the movies of the 50's and 60's... Well I have news for him, read your history books, because American Indians were a lot worse than the movies depict. They scalped people... kept the scalps as trophies. You don't hear anything like that today that isn't related to some serial killer. Sorry we took your land, but, check your history books for something in this world called "conquered people". You'll find your weren't the first, and weren't the last either.
If you want to find out what history was like, take a course, read a book, or watch a documentary blessed by a good historian. Don't ever look to Hollywood movies for more than anything but a way to waste a couple hours, you'll never get back.
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