By ERIN ALLEN
King of Pop Michael Jackson got a posthumous honor when the Library of Congress added his iconic video “Thriller” to the National Film Registry (see page 12). Other selections included “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “The Muppet Movie” and the Al Pacino drama “Dog Day Afternoon.”
As in the past, a variety of media outlets ran stories about the registry and its new additions. From as far away as Australia and India to the shores of California, New York, Florida and Texas came the news.
In the blog Parent to Parent, Jennifer Gish remembered her earliest movie memory of “The Muppet Movie”: “My parents took me to see it at a drive-in, and I remember sitting in the back of the car with blankets and I believe some snacks my parents had packed.” She goes on to say that watching the movie with her husband will be how she spends New Year’s Eve.
The Washington Post’s Anne Hornaday spoke with John Landis, who directed Jackson’s classic music video. “I’m thrilled. And it’s nice for Michael, because he was always striving to be bigger and better.”
As it turns out, Landis has ties with three other films named to the registry: He was a stunt player in Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West,” he once worked with animator Sally Cruikshank (“Quasi at the Quackadero,” see photo) and he was the voice of Grover in “The Muppet Movie.”
Brett Zongker of the Associated Press interviewed Steve Leggett, coordinator of the National Film Preservation Board. As it turns out, “Thriller” is the first music video named to the registry.
“Because of the way the recording industry is evolving and changing, we thought it would be good to go back to the development of an earlier seismic shift, which was the development of the music video,” said Leggett.
Also running the AP story were Newsday, The Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, The News Journal (Delaware) and The Virginian-Pilot.
Not king but rock royalty nonetheless, Sir Paul McCartney has been named the third recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (see page 10). He follows in the footsteps of Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
The Washington Post reporter Chris Richards was short, sweet and to-the-point: “Macca rules.”
Other high profile news outlets running the announcement included CNN, The New York Times, The Associated Press, New Musical Express and Agence France Presse, along with a variety of national and international media.
Erin Allen is acting editor of the Gazette, the Library’s staff newsletter.