Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Film Registry Project
Before launching into this, it's probably best to begin with a little bit of background. First the very basic: who am I? I'm a mostly homebound disabled woman living in Virginia. I'm working on my master's in English literature, and while I'm obviously a big fan of books, I've also always been a big fan of movies. For kicks and giggles one afternoon, I clicked on the link to the National Film Registry and went through the films I had already seen. To my surprise, I had already seen 84, and many more were movies I had wanted to see. So I had the idea to watch every film in the Registry. After watching my 108th film, Laura, the idea came to me to blog about my experience. I am not a professional film critic. What follows are not professional reviews of the films, but rather my impressions and recommendations. I am not rating on any sort of scale, because I always feel silly doing that. I am just going to watch the film, short, or documentary, write what I think, and let you, the reader, take it from there. There are plenty of movies on the Registry that I know are not really to my taste. My favorite movies are The Empire Strikes Back (on the list), Disney's Robin Hood (not on the list), My Neighbor Totoro (not eligible for the list), and The Iron Giant (not on the list). There are a lot of Westerns, which I usually don't care for, and a lot of film noir, which I do really enjoy. I was rather surprised that Marilyn Monroe, my favorite actress, only appears in two movies on the list (Some Like it Hot and All About Eve). There are also not very many musicals, which definitely surprised me, given how often musicals won Best Picture in the Golden Age of Hollywood. There are almost no superhero movies, but that's not surprising - a movie has to be 10 years old to be considered, and we didn't really figure out superhero movies until pretty recently. But that's the blog in a nutshell. Some entries are bound to be longer than others... for example, Wings is a 2+ hour long movie, as is Gone With the Wind. Let's All Go to the Lobby is on the Registry, and it's not even two minutes long. This will not be in alphabetical order until I finish - then I'll go back and alphabetize entries. As for now, I'll just write reviews as I see the movies, starting with the 108 movies I've already seen (or 109, since Citizen Kane is queued up in the DVD player. I know, bad cinephile, not seeing Citizen Kane yet). Let's hope this is a fun little journey through 650 (as well as however many get added while I'm working on this) films deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/complete-national-film-registry-listing/ - This is the list we're working from, if anyone wants to check out anything. A lot of films are up on Netflix, and the silent ones are almost all up on YouTube. As the Doctor says, Allons-y!