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These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America
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Many documentaries, particularly ones that consist mostly of interviews, tend to get tedious and boring. But the film (88 minutes long) has a brisk pace and moves along quickly (but without feeling too rushed).
One of my favorite aspects of the film is the original score by Peter Golub. The music really adds to the sense of nostalgia you feel while watching the documentary. It is available for purchase now, and I highly recommend it.
The blu-ray will include the following bonus material:
- Lost Forever, a look at film preservation, restoration, and more
- Live from Prague: Recording the Score
- These Amazing Shadows at Sundance
- Alternate and Deleted Scenes
The subject of coloring old films is discussed.
This leads to the National film Preservation Act to create the national film registry.
The American film crates a sense of nationhood.
The real problem with this documentary is that it is in less than 5 second sound and picture bytes. They never complete a thought before moving on to the next. There I s no coherence in the train of thought or presentation. The bites have great sounds but no follow-up as to what those bits are trying to say.
It would have been better presented with ether fewer speakers of let one speaker finish before the next begins.
They do slow down for the courtroom speech from "To Kill a Mockingbird"
How many of these narrators do you know?
Jeff Adachi (Filmmaker)
Dr. James H. Billington (Librarian of Congress)
Robin Blaetz (Chair of Film Studies, Mount Holyoke College)
Brooks Boliek (Journalist)
Charles Burnett (Director, Killer of Sheep)
Jay Carr (National Film Preservation Board)
Martin Cohen (President of Post Production, Paramount Pictures)
Peter Coyote (Actor, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial)
Arlene Damron (daughter of Director- Dave Tatsuno: Topaz (1945 documentary))
Julie Dash (Director, Daughters of the Dust)
Allen Daviau, ASC (Cinematographer)
Caleb Deschanel, ASC (Cinematographer)
Zooey Deschanel (Actress) describes wizard of OZ
Robert A.Read more ›
In 1988, Congress passed the National Film Preservation Act and with it the National Film Preservation Board, under the auspices of the Librarian of Congress (James Billington). In 1989 the NFPB chose the first group of 25 films for its Registry and, to date 550 films of all types and periods, have been chosen to be preserved in their original form. This includes well-known films like "The Godfather", and "The Wizard of Oz" to pieces of home movies.
The feature film on this DVD was produced in 2011 and presented at Sundance - as well as an airing on PBS. It is essential viewing by anyone who watches movies. While there is significant discussion of why films deteriorate or why a film is "culturally important", this documentary is crafted so it is entertaining as well. Film critics and authors on film are interviewed, but so are celebrities like directors John Waters (hilarious) and Rob Reiner. The real "star" is someone you've never heard of: Library of Congress archivist George Willeman. Looking, and sounding, like a cross between Michael Moore and Roger Ebert, Willeman is the guy in charge of the rare Nitrate film vaults at the modern Packard Campus that the Library of Congress opened in Culpepper, VA about six years ago. He will make you smile and really appreciate film history.
The film has an original score by composer Peter Golub, whose soundtrack could easily stand on its own on a CD.
One of the parts I enjoyed most is the one on censorship, where it shows how recently found footage was able to restore the 1930s film "Baby Face" which had been destroyed by heavy censorship editing. And you'll discover new films to seek out and watch.Read more ›
This documentary, while revealing very little, explains America's National Film Registry, which I believe is in the Library of Congress. Each year, only 25 motion pictures are chose to the Registry, picked by the National Film Preservation Board but the documentary tells us may be nominated by almost anyone.
We are shown snippets of films in the registry, from what you might expect - The Wizard of Oz, It's A Wonderful Life, The Godfather - to totally unknown indie films and old documentaries. One that impressed me was a 1916 silent film by the great but forgotten Lois Weber, one of many important female writer/directors before women got booted out of the filmmaking industry. Weber's contribution in the Registry is WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN?, included in the set Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934, an emotional account of abortion and all the concomitant issues.
This work also addresses the restoration of film by utilizing THE GODFATHER as a prime example. The way it was shot was done so that no one could change its light or color values. It is a dark, foreboding film that was guaranteed to remain so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this for anyone who enjoys history (me), the art and process of filmmaking (me) or just watching films (me!). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Deb Wong
This is one of the most interesting documentaries that I have ever watched! It gives the watcher an in-depth view of the National Film Registry and its significance. Read morePublished 4 months ago by dus10khtwr
Very much enjoyed this well done review of the movies reflecting, and likely influencing, our culture.Published 6 months ago by Etta Farney
An homage to why (and how) we love "the movies". Moving and riveting. It had everything.Published 7 months ago by Paul Mariano
Great documentary about film as an art form. Highly recommend!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I had to watch this movie for my Film Appreciation class. It wasn't as boring as I thought it would be...I actually kind of liked it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kaylee Goddard
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