Despite human reasoning and every fiber of my being screaming out against doing such a thing: I am finally, after many years, rebooting my project in which I watch as many of the movies on the National Film Registry as I can get my filthy little hands on. There is no reason to do this. It benefits no one and wastes my own precious time on Earth I could be spending doing anything else on watching hundreds of hours of movies in which there is a 75% chance at least a little racism happens. But since the first time I tried to conquer this almost 5 years ago, my understanding of how exposing myself to a wider variety of film intersects and intertwines with my life and has vastly improved how I approach plot and character writing. My brain also works better now, so that also helps. I think this could be a good thing. We could broaden our horizons together, you and I.
what is the national film registry?
In 1988, the Film Preservation Act established a board whose goals were to “ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s film heritage”. Every year the board picks 25 new films that it feels are significant to the American historical or cultural landscape for safekeeping and preservation on the registry.
why are you doing this?
My intent is to review these films with the steely, dumb-ass gaze of your modern, average American and determine these things:
- Does the film remain culturally (or historically, technologically, etc) significant?
- Is the film entertaining by modern day standards?
- What are the themes and messages being put forward by this movie?
- Should anyone watch this? Who is it for?
I am also doing it because I am stupid and have bad ideas.
first up: the “a”s
I’m not going to go into excessive detail with each of these in this pre-review rundown but I did conquer this section in my first attempt at this gauntlet. The thing is, I don’t remember most of these movies enough to give them a fair and impartial review today. They deserve a second chance with a better functioning brain. And frankly I wouldn’t say no to re-watching half of them anyway. Here are some scattered thoughts before I sign off:
- Remembered favorites on this list: 3:10 to Yuma, 12 Angry Men, All about Eve, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The African Queen, Airplane!, Alien, All The King’s Men, Anatomy of a Murder, The Apartment
- The Apartment and Abbott and Costello are probably my favorite on this list. Possibly in the world.
- Is Asphalt Jungle the one with Marilyn Monroe’s first role? (yes first big role apparently)
- I thought All the President’s Men was boring as hell the first time around so we’ll see how it goes this time. I also remember greatly disliking All That Heaven Allows because I kept waiting for something to actually happen but instead its just about a cougar who bags a hot stud. 90% of 2001: A Space Odyssey is boring to me too. Not that I think that it’s bad, I understand why it is good. It just does absolutely nothing for me. You might as well just hit me on the head with a claw hammer for 3 hours, its the same experience.
- [ages 30000000 years thinking about when i have to write about Annie Hall] shit
Well, see you soon.
3 thoughts on “here we go again: national film registry project”
Jason DERULO says:
Star Wars should have won the Oscar instead of Annie Hall.
“annie hall” is a movie that i will have to dedicate a lot of complicated blog feelings to when i get to it with the primary and strongest feeling being i hate woody allen and i cant wait for that rat bastard to be 6 feet under so i can take regular dumps on his new porch.
and god you are absolutely right. “star wars” is not only a better movie but unquestionably, unarguably had a bigger and more important footprint the american landscape both in everyday life and in how literally every single movie is made. its just objectively the better movie. crime of the century
why alphabetical instead of chronological?