Tuesday, January 05, 2016

National Film Registry's 2015 picks include Top Gun and sneezing

Every year, the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress picks 25 notable films for permanent preservation, ensuring that everyone will have long-term access to these works. Every year includes a mixture of historical items and more current movies, like last year's selection of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the first film with an all-black cast.

For 2015, the National Film Registry once again cast a wide net. Ghostbusters, L.A. Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, and Top Gun are surely the most well-known, but as usual, the odder choices are probably the most exciting. Of great interest is the Spanish language version of Dracula, produced alongside the 1931 Bela Lugosi classic using the same scripts, sets, and costumes. Other highlights include the New Deal working-class ode Our Daily Bread and an early educational film about menstruation that still had to sanitize its contents.

And finally, at long last, the National Film Registry is preserving Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (above), the first copyrighted film and the subject of many running jokes about the subject matter of early video recordings. It may be the most famous sneeze in history – though it's not clear how you'd measure that.

The AU Library has copies of most every film in the Library of Congress's 2015 list, though several are included on compilation discs with other early cinema. Record of a Sneeze is a rare case where you might be better served with a GIF.

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