‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun’ and ‘L.A. Confidential’ among titles joining National Film Registry
The 1984 Ivan Reitman blockbuster “Ghostbusters” is one of 25 films being named Wednesday to the 2015 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Joining the comedy are the 1986 Tom Cruise high-flying “Top Gun” and 1894’s “Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze,” the oldest surviving copyrighted motion picture.
Among the more recent movies also making the list are “L.A. Confidential,” the 1997 film noir set in 1950s Los Angeles, and 1994’s “The Shawshank Redemption” about a prison friendship based on a Stephen King story.
Acting librarian of Congress David Mao announced the roster of films deserving to be preserved because of “their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance.”
“Selecting a film for the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to cinema and America’s cultural and artistic history,” Mao said in a statement.
The librarian selects the pictures after meeting with members of the National Film Preservation Board and library film staff as well as considering recommendations from the public.
This year’s selections bring the number of movies in the registry to 675.
Some of this year’s selections have already been preserved by the copyright holder, the filmmaker or the top U.S. archives — the Library of Congress, the Academy Film Archive, the George Eastman Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Joining the National Film Registry this year are:
“Being There” (1989): Peter Sellers, Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas and Shirley MacLaine star in Hal Ashby’s satire about a simple-minded gardener who becomes a celebrity.
“Black and Tan” (1929): Duke Ellington and Fredi Washington star in one of the first short musical films starring African American jazz musicians.
“Dracula” (1931): The Spanish-language version of Tod Browning’s classic vampire tale starring Bela Lugosi was shot evenings on the same set with a different director and stars.
“Dream of a Rarebit Fiend” (1906): Edwin S. Porter’s short fantasy comedy based on illustrator Winsor McCay’s comic strip uses trick photography, including double exposure.
“Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer” (1975): Thom Andersen spent a decade making this documentary about the man whose vision led to the development of the motion picture.
“Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze” (1894): W.K.L. Dickson, one of Thomas Edison’s team of inventors, took these images of engineer Fred Ott performing a snuff-induced sneeze.
“A Fool There Was” (1915): This early silent box office sensation made a star out of an unknown actress with the exotic name of Theda Bara. She was promoted as “the woman with the most beautifully wicked face in the world” and became one of early cinema’s bona-fide vamps.
“Hail the Conquering Hero” (1944): Preston Sturges’ comedic masterpiece about a small-town would-be World War II hero (Eddie Bracken) who was actually dismissed from active duty because of chronic hay fever.
“Humoresque” (1920): Frank Borzage directed this adaptation of a Fannie Hurst story that presented a sensitive portrait of Jewish immigrants.
“Imitation of Life” (1959): Douglas Sirk directed this sumptuous influential melodrama based on a Hurst novel.
“The Inner World of Aphasia” (1968): A medical training film dealing with aphasia, the inability to speak due to a brain injury. Co-director Naomi Feil, a social worker who worked with language-impaired patients, stars, co-directed and produced the film with her husband, Edward.
“John Henry and Inky-Poo” (1946): George Pal’s stop-motion short film based on the legend of the African American folk hero.
“L.A. Confidential” (1997) Curtis Hanson directed and co-wrote with Brian Helgeland this gritty film noir based on a James Ellroy novel about police corruption and the political machine in L.A. in the early 1950s. An Oscar winner for adapted screenplay and supporting actress (Kim Basinger).
“The Mark of Zorro” (1920): Douglas Fairbanks’ breathtaking first swashbuckler, which he also wrote under the name Elton Thomas.
“The Old Mill” (1937): This Oscar-winning Walt Disney “Silly Symphony” featured the first use of the multiplane camera as well as more realistic depictions of the behavior of animals.
“Our Daily Bread” (1934): King Vidor directed and self-financed this controversial Depression-era drama about unemployed workers who form a cooperative farm.
“Portrait of Jason” (1967): Shirley Clarke directed this seminal LGBT film featuring Jason Holliday, a gay hustler and nightclub entertainer, who talks about his life during one 12-hour shoot.
“Seconds” (1966) John Frankenheimer directed this innovative thriller about a bored married man (John Randolph) who gets more than he bargains for when he opts for a second chance in life. Rock Hudson stars as Randolph’s new persona.
“The Shawshank Redemption” (1994): Frank Darabont wrote and directed this adaptation of a King short story revolving around the friendship that develops in prison between a banker (Tim Robbins) wrongly accused of a double murder and a longtime inmate (Morgan Freeman).
“Sink or Swim” (1990): Su Friedrich chronicles the combustible relationship between a daughter and her father though 26 short vignettes narrated by the teenage girl.
“The Story of Menstruation” (1946): Produced through the Educational and Industrial Film Division of the Walt Disney Co., this film sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kotex, encourages a “healthy, normal attitude” toward menstruation.
“Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One” (1968): African American film director and documentarian William Greaves, best known as cohost and producer of the public television program “Black Journal,” wrote, directed and conceived this experimental docudrama.
“Top Gun” (1986): Tony Scott directed this glossy Don Simpson-Jerry Bruckheimer production about a group of flyboys starring Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Kelly McGillis.
“Winchester ’73" (1950): This adult psychological western was the first of eight features that actor Jimmy Stewart made with director Anthony Mann between 1950 and 1955.
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