Library in the News: December 2013 Edition

Every year, the Library of Congress announces the addition of 25 films to the National Film Registry, and every year, media outlets far and wide run stories on the initiative.  According to a Google search on the story, more than 230 news articles highlighted the selections for 2013.

“To me, this honor goes on the same shelf as the Oscar or the Palme d’Or,” filmmaker Michael Moore told The Washington Post on the selection of his film “Roger & Me” to the registry.

Moore also took to the Huffington Post to issue a thank you to the Library for the inclusion of his film.

“The nanny Mary Poppins and the nasty Vincent Vega are now ensured a place where they can spend their golden years growing old together, using whatever they wish to help the medicine go down,” wrote the New York Times blog, The Carpetbagger, on the inclusion of “Pulp Fiction” and “Mary Poppins” to the registry.

“At the time of their release it would have been hard to imagine Tarantino’s breakout, Moore’s anti-car industry doc or a B-movie such as ‘Forbidden’ ever being recognized by Congress. Time brings a unique perspective,” wrote Gregory Ellwood for hitfix.com.

“The Library of Congress National Film Registry is an elite and rather special club. It places a premium on timelessness and historical import, and it always makes room for a few films you’ve never heard of,” wrote Chris Vogner for The Dallas Morning News.

National outlets running stories included USA Today, LA Times, CBS News, PBS Newshour, Time, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, UPI, Associated Press.

Regional outlets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York,  New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and California, among others, also highlighted the registry.

International media, including AFP, malaymailonline.com (Malaysia), Irish Independent, BBC News and the Times of India featured stories as well.

Speaking of films, the Library recently released a report that conclusively determined that 70 percent of the nation’s silent feature films have been lost forever and only 14 percent exist in their original 35 mm format.

“The report underscores some of the difficulties faced by archivists dedicated to preserving the world’s cinematic heritage, from full length features to educational filmstrips. Some of the films may remain intact in archives where harried film technicians have not had time to identify, much less restore the work. Others, though, are likely gone forever, lost to an early Hollywood culture that saw no value in maintaining movies they couldn’t sell tickets to anymore” wrote Library Journal’s Ian Chant.

“Our film heritage doesn’t begin with “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz” or “Gone with the Wind.” Silent films are a full-blown form of entertainment, and some are an art form,” said Audrey Kupferberg with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

And in other preservation news, the Library found and recently restored work – a painting of the Madonna – by Mexican artist Martin Ramirez.

“It is a charming and energetic picture showing an angelic figure, with an androgynous face and a radiant crown, standing on a luminous blue globe,” wrote Philip Kennicott for The Washington Post. “Surrounding her, and rendered in a different perspective, are two canyons filled with what seem to be automobiles, driving from a landscape of green trees toward the bottom of the vertical landscape, perhaps south, to Mexico.”

“Ramírez was making drawings, almost all of them lost, in the 1930s and ’40s, but not until the early 1950s did the larger world take notice. That makes the Madonna at the Library of Congress one of the earliest of his surviving works from the period when the outside world was just beginning to take notice,” he added.

One Comment

  1. Grzegorz Pieńkowski Poland
    January 9, 2014 at 11:29 am

    And then he will give eternal life film reel.
    Lumiere brothers set up a camera on a platform, set up the camera in front of the factory and gave unsuspecting people eternal life and he was 1895.
    And they will always be out of the factory. All the ladies in large hats, talking with each other, talking about what? About what I will cook today their husbands and children.
    And four men leaving their bikes, also in a hurry to the house. And we at any time we can look at them. Move rapidly to 1895.

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