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Entries in National Film Registry (6)


What Does 1979 Mean To You?

Our first Supporting Actress Smackdown of the year is this Sunday, looking at the nominees of 1979. If you haven't yet voted (readers, collectively, are the final panelist) you have until 9 PM EST tonight to do so. Out of curiousity I looked at the National Film Registry to see which films have previously been added from that year.

three of the year's stone cold classics

As a reminder each year 25 films join the registry at the Library of Congress and to be so honored a film must be deemed:

culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

I was SHOCKED to realize that Kramer vs. Kramer, which undeniably fits the first two criteria has not been added. Neither have these other major Oscar players from that year: Breaking Away, Being There, and The China Syndrome (the latter my guess as to which movie just missed the Best Picture list that year). The only movies from 1979 that are part of the registry are All That Jazz (recently discussed), The Black Stallion (recently discussed), Apocalypse Now, The Muppet Movie, Norma RaeManhattan and Alien. Tough to argue with those inductees. The public is free to suggest films before they choose each December and I always forget. But I won't this year! One film I'm totally voting for this year (not from 1979) is Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (1969) which needs some renewed attention since it's such a good companion piece to the Mad Men finale. But that's another topic... 


Here's a little bit about them to prep you for our conversation this weekend...

First Time Panelists

K.M. SOEHNLEIN (Novelist)
Bio: K.M. Soehnlein's first movie memory is seeing Funny Girl at a drive-in with his parents. He spent his childhood inventing an alternate Hollywood with fictional actors, directors, movies and Oscar nominations. He went to film school at Ithaca College, wrote about film for the Village Voice, Out and Outweek, and now writes novels ("The World of Normal Boys," "Robin and Ruby," "You Can Say You Knew Me When"). He hopes at least one of them gets made into a movie. 

What does 1979 Mean to you?

In 1979 I was a 13-year-old suburban New Jersey boy, staring across the river at Manhattan and longing to live inside a Woody Allen film. Movies I saw in the theater include a wave of post-Rocky boxing stories (Rocky II, The Champ, The Main Event); two starring early SNL breakouts (The Jerk, Meatballs); and two that wound up in the Oscar race: Breaking Away (early screen crush: Dennis Quaid) and All That Jazz (mind forever blown). 


Bio: Kristen Sales is a Los Angeles native who’s been blogging about movies since 2010. She enjoys Buster Keaton and aggressive feminist punk rock. You can find her yelling about things on Twitter and Tumblr.

What does 1979 Mean to you?

I have absolutely no associations with the year "1979," except that Smashing Pumpkins song. But Smashing Pumpkins suck.


Returning Panelists

Bill Chambers is the founder, editor, and webmaster of, which recently turned seventeen. A graduate of York University's Film program, he is a member of both the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society. He has a cat. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1979 Mean to you?

One of my earliest memories is quite apropos: Seeing a movie for the first time on the big screen. I was four years old; the film was The Muppet Movie. I couldn't have asked for a more beguiling introduction to the cinema, a gently postmodern work that simultaneously taught me what movies are and demonstrated, via its very Muppet-ness, their ability to unite generations in the dark. Though I wouldn't catch up with them until I was a little older, lots more personally formative films were released that year, like The Jerk, Alien, All That Jazz, and even Rocky II; to borrow a term from Blade Runner, I think of 1979 somewhat narcissistically as my cinephile 'incept date.'


BRIAN HERRERA (aka "StinkyLulu")
Brian convened the first Supporting Actress Smackdown and hostessed more than thirty. He is a writer, teacher and scholar presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Follow him on Twitter

What does 1979 Mean to you?

My movie-world opened wide in 1979. I was on the cusp of adolescence, about to experience the first real stirrings of my actressexual leanings, when I found myself with ready access to a betamax video player and a library of tape recordings that someone's relative had captured from HBO. 1979 was also the first Best Actress race I remember agonizing over long after the fact. I loved that Sally won, even though I believed Bette deserved it. It's a conflict I struggle with to this day...


And yours truly

Nathaniel is the founder of The Film Experience, a reknowned Oscar pundit, and the web's actressexual ringleader. He fell in love with the movies for always at The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) but mostly blames Oscar night (in general) and the 80s filmographies of Kathleen Turner & Michelle Pfeiffer. Though he holds a BFA in Illustration, he found his true calling when he started writing about the movies. He blames Boogie Nights for the career change. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1979 mean to you?

I have slim recall of this year other than hearing the song "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart (?!?) but my strongest memory of the year is my very conservative parents complaining about President Jimmy Carter and the Iran Hostage Crisis non-stop. My movie memories are limited to three: the shock of seeing a bald woman in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (but nothing else about the movie); laughing hysterically when Cloris Leachman broke her fingernails in the Disney comedy The North Avenue Irregulars (but nothing else about the movie) and going little-kid wide-eyed seeing Kermit the frog riding a bicycle in The Muppet Movie and pretty much everything else about that movie which I loved so much I decided I was going to be a puppeteer when I grew up and my parents bought me the soundtrack. 

What does 1979 mean to you dear readers?
Even if you weren't yet alive perhaps you have an association?



National Film Registry Adds 25. How Many Have You Seen?

Ah the National Film Registry inductees! One of the most important December cinematic traditions that I always forget about. I wish it were in March each year -- since it's not any kind of "year in..." since film works aren't eligible for induction until they're ten years old. Placed it March it would also serve as a nice salve to the sometimes wounding notion that the Oscars are the only barometer for American movies that are deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" I wish too that this annual honor were more practical (restoration, anyone?) and less symbolic in nature. 

Which have you seen and which will you be seeking out?(presented in chronological order)

Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day(1913)
The oldest surviving film featuring African-American actors. But no title cards, credits, or script has survived. 

Shoes (1916)
Directed by Lois Weber, a female film pioneer. This one is about a desperate girl trying to support her parents and brothers who sells her body for a pair of shoes!

Unmasked (1917)
Another female silent director Grace Cunard who also acted in the short with co-director Francis Ford

The Dragon Painter (1919)
A US/France coproduction 

More films after the jump filled with Satan-worshipping neighbors, chocolate rivers, and rugs that tie the whole room together...

Click to read more ...


Late Night Link

The Wrap the new triangular Oscar logo
French Films About Trains "Category is: 2013 Realness" 
i09 Paul Rudd to play Hank Pym aka Ant Man in the future Marvel movie for Edgar Wright
Digital Spy... and Edgar Wright shares his ten favorites of 2013 (and Short Term 12 is on it so I love him even more now)

Cinema Blend Hugh Jackman to play the villain in the new Peter Pan film for Joe Wright... but he's not Captain Hook
Deep Cuts the best music scenes in movies this year
Film School Rejects 3 films getting Oscar rereleases and 3 that deserve to get the same treatment
Variety 'how American Hustle conned the critics' a scathing review of... um... either the movie or its reviews. 
Vanity Fair David O. Russell's last minute decision to cast Jennifer Lawrence
Vulture Taylor Kitsch on The Normal Heart, Lone Survivor and his resistance to doing a Friday Night Lights movie
Cinema Blend Superman heirs still seeking back the rights. So much drama with superman. (Shouldn't he be in the public domain soon anyway? Damn corporate America and its perversion of copyright laws!) 

National Film Registry
Finally, the Library of Congress announced the 25 new titles they're adding to their list of culturally important films. The honor is mostly symbolic since nothing actually happens to the films in question. It doesn't grant them funding for cleaning of their negatives or restoration or guarantee a Blu-Ray release or any some such but it's still a lovely tradition. Mary Poppins is included this year which only prompted "that wasn't already in there?!?" from me followed by a 'well, that's suspiciously good timing for its 50th anniversary Blu-Ray release and the Oscar campaign of Saving Mr Banks." But I love Mary Poppins (here is evidence) so i'm thrilled.

The 25 Films:  Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), Brandy in the Wilderness (1969), Cicero March (1966), Daughter of Dawn (1920), Decasia (2002), Ella Cinders (1926), Forbidden Planet (1956), Gilda (1946), The Hole (1962), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), King of Jazz (1930), The Lunch Date (1989), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Martha Graham Early Dance film (1931-44), Mary Poppins (1964), Men & Dust (1940), Midnight (1939), Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Quiet Man (1952),The Right Stuff (1983), Roger & Me (1989), A Virtuous Vamp (1919), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Which ones that you haven't seen are you most curious about? I'm thinking I should finally get around to The Quiet Man because Maureen O'Hara. And though I've seen it already I should probably revisit / write up The Right Stuff because it's so good and people just don't talk about it enough.




Vote for the National Film Registry!

Hi, it's Tim, looking to rope y'all into a little bit of cinematic democracy in action. The National Film Preservation Board, you perhaps know, is the advisory council that suggests to the Librarian of Congress which American-produced films should be admitted to the National Film Registry. And surely you know what that is! The list of films deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, and worthy of being kept safe and preserved as a result (though unfortunately, being on the Registry doesn’t automatically mean a film is guaranteed preservation dollars, only the imprimatur of the Library of Congress saying, “Hey, people with film preservation dollars! Take a look at these, won’t you?”).

Now, the point of my bringing this up is that, while the Board advises the Librarian, it’s the public that advises the Board – any citizen is welcome to submit a list of nominees up to 50 films long that they believe to be worthy candidates for inclusion on the Registry. This nomination period, for this year’s inductees, closes on September 13, just over a week from now. And so I write this piece in the spirit of an exhortation: I don’t just want you to share a list of movies that you think should be inducted to the National Film Registry here in the comments section of this fine website, I want you to share that list with the National Film Board itself. For we are all well-educated cinephiles here, and I think our voices deserve to be heard. Information about nominating films can be found here, with links to a list of all films currently on the Registry, as well as some prominent films missing from it.

Here’s the list of movies that I’m going to submit after the jump from silents to absurdist cartoons to the Coen Bros...

Click to read more ...


National Link Registry

The Hollywood Reporter  A former sitcom writer "kvells and kvetches" about The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance starring Babs and Bette
PopWatch Mark Harris on Hollywood's love of gun violence. I highly recommend reading this but I highly caution NOT reading the comments because as per usual the gun crazies come out. They'd have us all packing and I so don't want to live in their preferred world.
Cinema Blend Katey & Eric on 12 Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2012 from Hello I Must Be Going (Yay, Melanie!) through Cosmopolis

Awards Daily Whoa. Ann Dowd is footing the bill for her own Oscar campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Emayatzy Corinealdi on her breakthrough in Middle of Nowhere. You know. I've been trying not to talk about this because I can't figure out a way to say it that doesn't sound indelicate but in some ways I really hate falling in love with new black actresses in the same way that falling hard for new theater actors can be nerve-wracking. Chances are (unforgivably) strong that no one will give these gifted performers another plum opportunity after their breakthrough and that truly sucks. So I'm crossing my fingers for Corinealdi but I'm still waiting for something real to happen for Pariah star Adepero Oduye, last year's breakthrough actress of color. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the non-career of the brilliant Kimberly Elise so... 

The Carpetbagger on screenwriter Lucy Alibar's (Beasts of the Southern Wild) crash course in cinema
The Onion "Top Movies of 2012"
David Poland gives himself a new nickname. Or adopts one given.
Vanity Fair Barbra Streisand talks about her legendary duet with Judy Garland in the 60s. Really interesting comment from Babs I think.  
MNPP joins the Zero Dark Thirty fan club 

Oooh, look Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar saying that his filmography is "the one to beat" -damn straight! Nobody else in the modern era compares.

Finally, I want to extend my annual congratulations to the 25 films that are newly announced for preservation by the National Film Registry. They are:

  • "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959)
  • "The Augustas" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Born Yesterday" (1950)
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)
  • "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • "The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight" (1897)
  • "Dirty Harry" (1971)
  • "Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2" (1980-82)
  • "The Kidnappers Foil" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests" (1922)
  • "A League of Their Own" (1992)
  • "The Matrix" (1999)
  • "The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair" (1939)
  • "One Survivor Remembers" (1995)
  • "Parable" (1964)
  • "Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia" (1990)
  • "Slacker" (1991)
  • "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
  • "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973)
  • "They Call It Pro Football" (1967)
  • "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984)
  • "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914)
  • "The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England" (1914)

As per usual that's a lot of titles that I know nothing about but I'm most thrilled by The Times of Harvey Milk which is one of the most moving and important documentaries ever made. And on a sillier note, can we talk about how ever-watchable the female baseball comedy A League of Their Own is? Sometimes I pine for the 1990s. It's tough to imagine that movie breaking $100 million now but the 90s were a good time for girlpower narratives.  

If you're a fan of A League of  Their Own (who isn't?) I want to know which scene just popped into your mind when you heard that it made the list!



National Film Registry. Have You Seen These Titles?

Porgy & Bess, in which Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge both lipsynched is one of the 25 inductees.The film is rarely screened, not all that well and regarded but badly in need of restoration. Is that what did it?Each year I read the press release list of the films admitted to the National Film Registry and promptly forget them. I guess I've never absorbed just what this does for the films beyond being an obviously prestigious honor. So this year rather than doing the usual read the titles and forget, I stopped, actually took a breath (a rarity on the web), wondered, and googled a bit. I stopped being lazy about it so you don't have to be either. I didn't just list titles below but actual information!

However I am still a bit confused as what the honor actually means beyond admittance into the Library of Congress. If this meant government funding to restore or preserve the films or if it meant an automatic transfer to each new medium that surfaces (VHS to DVD to Blu Ray to whatever is next) so that that film in question never disappears it would be a truly astounding honor. But it doesn't mean this.  The National Film Preservation Board which is connected to the National Film Registry  does not own the rights and can thus not distribute the films. The honor is also no guarantee of preservation. Film preservation is still a privately funded matter. Hollywood as a whole is fairly disinterested in its own history (except to mine it for remakes) and US politics has always been depressingly anti-arts funding. (Thank the Right Wing of the country for that.)

Here are the 25 new inductees in chronological order of creation. I am ashamed at how few of the I've seen. Should we watch them together?


  • The Cry Of The Children (George Nichols, 1912) a short film about child labor
  • A Cure for Pokeritis (Laurence Trimble, 1912) a short slapstick comedy
  • The Kid (Charles Chaplin, 1921) another Chaplin film for the Registry
  • The Iron Horse (1924) a long western starring George O'Brien of Sunrise fame.
  • Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies (1930s and 1940s) I assume this is the famous tap dancers?


The Nicholas Brothers

Beloved orphan fawns, globally famous serial killers, and remarkable actress faces, and more after the jump... How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...