David Dodd 2:53 a.m., May 21
National Film Registry adds another 25 titles
A Penny Marshall for your thoughts
Not only has 2012 meant a bad time at the movies, it appears as if the national Film Registry has taken the year off.
If Holly Golightly's waiter was as slow on the uptake as these cats are at the NFR, her Breakfast at Tiffany's would have been cold and rotting by the time it hit her plate. This is one title I think we were all shocked didn't make it in during the first go-round.
There was one pleasant surprise -- Ivan Dixon's superb The Spook Who Sat by the Door, the story of America's first black CIA agent. Along with a few deserving masterworks (Anatomy of a Murder, Dirty Harry), a handful of documentaries, historical curios, home movies (The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair), and unexplainable crowd-pleasers (A Christmas Story), there's always a leftover or two that sticks in your craw.
Given the film's popularity and innovative special effects, I can almost understand inducting The Matrix, but a piece of fluff like A League if Their Own deserves to be shunned, not honored. It's a badly made slab of fiction about an "important" subject that contemporary audiences confuse with documentary realism. Why not simply award Penny Marshall with an honorary Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize while you're at it?
For those of you keeping score at home, the 25 titles added this year bring the registry's grand total to 600 films. Here is this year's list of inductees:
- 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)
- Sons of the Desert (1933)
- The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
- They Call It Pro Football (1967)
- 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
- The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Uncle Tom's Cabin (1914)
- The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England (1914)