Saturday, January 2, 2016

National Film Registry - 2015 movie selections

Remember we watched the trailer for "These Amazing Shadows," and some clips from the documentary about how the National Film Registry of the United States is trying to save important movies?

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Every December, the Library of Congress announces 25 more notable movies that will be preserved by the National Film Registry.  I'm thrilled that this year several are favorites I recommended to you in class!

2015 National Film Registry Selections

Be sure to rent L.A. Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, and Ghostbusters. They are wonderful!

Douglas Fairbanks' The Mark of Zorro (1920) is free on Youtube. Remember we talked about his swashbuckling action films, his best friends relationship with Charlie Chaplin, his marriage to Mary Pickford and their company UA Artists.  :)

There's an amazing Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931) that technically should be in public domain, free on the internet...but I can't find it! Post in the comments section if you know where it is. The only place I've seen it is on DVD Disc One of this set for sale on Amazon.

Spanish-version Dracula was shot at night by director George Melford using the same sets as the English version that was shot during the day by Tod Browning. Here's some info about this unique moment in film history: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here is the famous English-language version starring Bela Lugosi, available for free on the Internet: Dracula (1931)

And one of Edison's early silent documentaries has been preserved. Usually called Frank Ott's Sneeze", the official title of this 1894 short is "Record of a Sneeze."

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More movies to watch!

Here are some awesome movies currently on Netflix Instant:

To Kill a Mockingbird, Game of Death (Bruce Lee), Crooked Arrows, Benchwarmers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Clueless, Heathers, Big Trouble in Little China, Wayne's World, Swingers, Clueless, PeeWee's Big Adventure, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Clerks, Mean Girls, The Shining (it's a hard R and definitely horror, so be cautious with this's only if you're allowed to see Rs and know you like that type of thing), Metropolis, Carmen Jones, Mulan, Pochahontas, Rent, Grease 2, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bride and Prejudice, The Interview, Galaxy Quest, Hot Fuzz, Bridget Jones' Diary, G.B.F., Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, About a Boy, Strictly Ballroom, Chocolat, Legally Blonde, Amelie, Timer, Hitch, 50 First Dates, 13 Going on 30, Can't Buy Me Love, Adventureland, Made In Manhattan, Can't Hardly Wait, My Sucky Teen Romance, Bring it On, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Underdogs, Men in Black 2, Roman Holiday, Witness, Cinema Paradiso, Sunset Boulevard, A Touch of Mink, Laura, An Affair to Remember, Fantasia, His Girl Friday, 9 to 5, The Day the Earth Stood Still, How to Marry a Millionaire, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Warriors, Charade, The Quiet Man, A League of Their Own, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV show), Side by Side (documentary about digital impact on movies).

Free on Youtube:

I didn't get a chance to watch this Tesla/Edison documentary yet but will soon!

I like to show this analysis after Jaws. It shows WHY Jaws is great. And it talks about Hitchcock, too. :)

Here's pretty much my favorite Spielberg scene ever. An amazing introduction to Marion, our feisty heroine of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's all done in one shot with no cuts, a style which is nicknamed "the Spielberg Oner."

I really wanted to show you all this gorgeous video about Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. 

Epic Rap Battles has an amazing throwdown between Spielberg, Hitchcock, Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, and Michael Bay. It would be MA or R rated, with no clean ERB version, so viewer discretion advised! You should get a lot of the jokes now after taking History of Cinema. :) 

I realized the last week of class I HAD shown you all a Kubrick clip...he directed Spartacus! But most of the ones he's famous for are so disturbingly R rated I didn't want to risk it. Have you heard this popular song Renegades?

All hail the underdogs
All hail the new kids (New American Cinema)
All hail the outlaws
Spielbergs and Kubricks

Did you know who Michael Bay was before this epic rap battle? We didn't get out of the 1980s so we never talked about him.  I love what this analyzer says about how he's borrowed his shots from West Side Story and Star Wars.

Drop me an email or comment here if you want to let me know what you're watching now. :) Enjoy the movies!

The Bechdel-Wallace Test!

Actress/Producer Amy Poehler's excellent website "Smart Girls" has a terrific article on what is the Bechdel-Wallace test and why it matters. It's a must-read to understand how women are being portrayed in movies, and what positive changes we are asking for from Hollywood! Bechdel-Wallace Test