Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let's nominate Louise Brooks to the National Film Registry

The Library of Congress today announced which 25 films will be included in the National Film Registry for 2010.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, the Librarian of Congress annually names 25 films to the National Film Registry. The films are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films are not selected as the “best” American films, but rather, works of enduring significance to American culture. To date, more than 500 films have been honored.

Annual selections to the registry are finalized by the Librarian after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and having extensive discussions with the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board, as well as the Library’s motion-picture staff. This year 2,112 films were nominated.

So far, no Louise Brooks film is included in the National Film Registry. It's time that change. The Librarian urges the public to make nominations for next year’s registry at the Film Board’s website (www.loc.gov/film/vote.html). I would like to suggest the nomination of The Show Off  (1926) or Love Em and Leave Em (1926) or Beggars of Life (1928). I think they are the best American films in which Brooks appeared. 

It's the Old Army Game (1926), Love Em and Leave Em (1926), and Beggars of Life (1928) are each on the National Film Registry "shortlist" at http://www.loc.gov/film/NFRposs.html

[ More on this news story at www.examiner.com/silent-movie-in-san-francisco/early-films-selected-for-national-film-registry ]

5 comments:

  1. The link to vote doesn't work!

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  2. I can't say I've seen as many of the films Louise Brooks made in America, but either of the two I have, Beggars of Life or Love 'Em and Leave 'Em seem likely candidates for inclusion ASAP. Apart from the Brooks angle (she's surely overdue to enter the registry, even if her most iconic roles were in European films) in Beggars of Life we get a near-documentary look at train-hopping "Hobohemia" and terrific direction from William Wellman, and in Love 'Em And Leave 'Em we get some terrific location shots of New York City, as well as a look at a product from the Astoria Studio- come to think of it, are there any silents on the Registry list made at that studio? The nearest thing I identified was the early talkie the Emperor Jones.

    Personally I prefer Beggars of Life as a film, but I understand it's not one of LB's most 'typcial' roles, and that a number of Wellman films have already been selected.

    The Brooks film I most long to see is a Girl in Every Port (hopefully in a good print one day), and its director Howard Hawks is comparatively under-represented on the registry given his stature. None of his films prior to Scarface are on the list. Even more surprisingly, the only Victor McLaglen film I identified on the list was Gunga Din (none of his Ford films, no Unholy Three, no What Price Glory?). I wonder if that would give a film that both he and Brooks starred in an edge with the selectors?

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  3. Blake Edwards passed away too and it seems fitting that The Pink Panther is selected...

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  4. Beggars of Life seems to have the best shot, given the subject matter...the atypical nature of Brooks' role makes it a standout as well.

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