"Maestro," the high-profile film biography of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, hits theaters this week, starring Bradley Cooper. The Library holds a vast trove of Bernstein's papers, some 400,000 items that document every stage of his life and career. In a brief video, Mark Horowitz, a senior music specialist at the Library and the archivist for the Bernstein Collection, gives a tour of the material and its cultural significance.
“The ‘Canary’ Murder Case,” by S. S. Van Dine, is the latest in the Library’s Crime Classics series. The publication gives readers a new look at an influential 1927 detective novel featuring the urbane detective Philo Vance.
Danny Elfman has composed or produced scores for more than 100 films, including blockbusters such as “Batman” and “Men in Black.” He’s composed themes for TV hits, as classic as “The Simpsons” and as recent as “Wednesday.” He was at the Library this week to present something more subtle: the world premiere of his latest classical work. “Suite for Chamber Orchestra,” commissioned by the LIbrary, debuted Thursday night at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in D.C. In this interview, he talks about his cinema and classical works, as well as original rock band, Oingo Boingo.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was excited, explaining why he and his filmmaking team were thrilled that their cornerstone feature, 2008’s “Iron Man,” was being inducted into cinematic Valhalla, the Library’s National Film Registry, in the class of 2022. “All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again, and …
The Library now has the papers and collected works of Neil Simon, the most commercially successful playwright in American history and one of the most honored. "Barefoot in the Park," "The Odd Couple," "The Sunshine Boys," "Biloxi Blues," "Plaza Suite," "Lost in Yonkers." By the time he died at age 91 in 2018, he his career included 28 Broadway plays, five musicals, 11 original screenplays and 14 film adaptations of his own work. The Library's collection includes more than 180 titled works that Simon began, many of them completed but never published or produced.
The film "Top Gun: Maverick" has caught the nation's imagination 36 years after the first "Top Gun" did, setting box office records. The Library placed the original film in the National Recording Registry and has several items, including the original print of the film, preserved in its collections.
The Better Angels Society, the Library of Congress and the Crimson Lion/Lavine Family Foundation established the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film in 2019 in order to help promote historical documentaries that might not otherwise have a path to sharing their work more widely. The winner receives a $200,000 finishing grant to help with the final production and distribution of the film. In addition, one runner-up receives a grant of $50,000 and three to four finalists each receive $25,000. These funds are used for finishing, marketing, distribution and outreach. Submissions for this year's prize are now open.
“Double Indemnity” is one of Hollywood’s classic films, the standard-bearer for noir cinema and a career highlight for stars Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. The Library has a fascinating exchange of letters between the “Double” stars and novelist James M. Cain, whose book was the basis for the film. The letters give us a glimpse into Hollywood history, how scandalous the movie was at the time and at the manners of a bygone era. It’s almost impossible to imagine this exchange taking place today.