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The Library of Congress Deems Miss Piggy a "...[Work] of Enduring Importance..."

Miss_piggy Each year since 1989, the Librarian of Congress, in accordance with the Film Preservation Act, selects 25 films for the National Film Registry that are deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" enough to preserve for all time. What makes this list interesting is that the films don't have to be good so much as they have to be "works of enduring importance to American culture", and so we sort of get to see ourselves through the lens of what we commit to film, and sometimes what we see through that lens is zombies and Miss Piggy.

The Librarian of Congress James H. Billington's 2009 National Film Registry list, just released today, will preserve the following 25 films spanning the years 1911 to 1995:

Little Nemo (1911)
Mabel's Blunder (1914)
Heroes All (1920)
Stark Love (1927)
The Revenge of Pancho Villa (1930-36)
A Study in Reds (1932)
Jezebel (1938)
Under Western Stars (1938)
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
The Lead Shoes (1949)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Pillow Talk (1959)
The Exiles (1961)
The Jungle (1967)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Thriller (1983)
Precious Images (1986)
The Red Book (1994)
Scratch and Crow (1995)

Michael_jackson_thriller

I bolded two of those films because I find it interesting that, out of a four-year stretch of cinema from 1979 to 1983, it is the Muppets and Michael Jackson's extended, zombie-ful music video that have been chosen for preservation, but I think that I am only surprised because I have this idea in my head that the Library of Congress is stodgy, which is a baseless stereotype I carried over from imagining boring British men nodding over brandy snifters in dark libraries, which, now that I'm getting old, seems like a pretty good idea. The brandy, I mean, not the boring British men or the nodding. Not to say that all British men are boring. No. The men in my own personal stereotype just happened to be both British and boring. I like their brandy, though.

All meandering aside, this list has piqued my interest in vintage cinema, and part of me wants to commit to seeing the whole list over the course of 2010, but another part of me knows that I totally won't do that, because I have the attention span of a Panamint chipmunk.

I have to admit, though, that most of these films are new to me. Have you seen any of them, and if so, which ones should I dig up to watch?

. . . . .
Schmutzie really wishes that she hadn't found those pictures of the Miss Piggy nipple slip.







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Comments

rebecca

I like Jezebel (Oh, bette davis), and Dog Day Afternoon.
As far as Zombies and Miss Piggy...sounds like an accurate sample from my house. :)

Palinode

Scratch and Crow?

I don't mind that works of enduring importance aren't necessarily good, but I mind a bit when I haven't even heard of them.

Anne

Despite the fact that I majored in Accounting, I somehow ended up working as a teaching assistant in the Theatre and Film department for three years (go figure), so I've seen a fair amount of these! I'd say Jezebel and Mrs. Miniver are two of the not-often-seen movies on there that I really enjoy.

your neighborhood librarian

Dig up Jezebel and Pillow Talk - Bette Davis and Doris Day are due to be exhumed.

But on the whole, this list reads like "how movies reflect the changing priorities and preoccupations of Americans," not "works of enduring importance whatever whatever". Which is a pretty interesting topic too, but might explain why some of these are by no means classics.




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