Movie Seventy Nine
These Amazing Shadows is a documentary about the U.S. National Film Registry in the Library of Congress and it is absolutely fascinating.
While the title is a bit generic (I had to keep looking it up to make sure I was calling it the right thing) the documentary itself would be at home as a special feature on so many amazing movies. The film showcases the process of the National Film Registry, talks about some of the choices, and interviews actors, directors, and other industry folks in the hopes of raising awareness.
While many of the scenes will be instantly recognizable, some of the choices are much less obvious. Some I had never even known existed. For those unaware, so many films were completely destroyed by studios. Think about it, film takes up space and after a few decades, it adds up. This was well before home video was even thought of, so many assumed the older films would have no purpose. Some films are simply wiped from history because of this. The National Film Registry doesn’t just collect full-length feature films, either.
As I was watching These Amazing Shadows, I wanted to know more. I visited their website (http://www.loc.gov/film/index.html). I tried to find information on how to be a part of preserving film history. I also didn’t want to look away from the documentary. I still would like to help and although the film doesn’t offer up methods of how we can help, it will likely spark interest. I do wish the documentary was a bit more in-depth, but I consider it a beginner’s level course for people other than just film nerds.
I cannot recommend These Amazing Shadows enough. As far as I’m concerned if you’re reading this you have at least a passing interest in movies, and I think all of you will be interested. It’s available on Netflix Instant Watch now. I also recommend checking out the list of the Registry’s choices. If not amazing itself, These Amazing Shadows is inspiring and informative.
I give it 5 rolls of nitrate film out of 5.