December 16, 2016 (REVISED December 20, 2016) National Film Registry Titles Featured in January
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
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Feature films and short subjects named to the Library of Congress National Film Registry for posterity will be showcased at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, in January. Dating from 1928 to 1996, these films have been named to the registry because of their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic significance.
Several of the features being screened, including “The Princess Bride,” “Blackboard Jungle,” and “Ball of Fire,” were named to this year’s annual selection of 25 motion pictures chosen for inclusion in the National Film Registry, which was announced on Dec. 14. More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film/.
Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, silent film curator for EYE Film Institute Netherlands, will present two of the Institute’s recent silent-film restorations—“The Spanish Dancer,” starring Pola Negri, and “East is West,” starring Constance Talmadge. Bernie Anderson, a frequent guest accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, will make his Packard Campus debut providing live musical accompaniment on the theater organ for these features.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-served basis. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994. For further information on the theater and film series, visit loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no earlier than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings. The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board and the national registries for film and recorded sound.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule
Friday, Jan. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
“Citizen Kane” (RKO, 1941)
Directed by and starring Orson Welles, this film tells the life story of Charles Foster Kane (Welles), a newspaper tycoon who gains immense wealth at the expense of the ones he loves. The screenplay, written by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles, was inspired by the biography of real-life newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, and the film’s celebrated visual style, featuring stunning black-and white-cinematography, was created by director of photography Gregg Toland. Although “Citizen Kane” received a lukewarm reception from audiences upon its initial release, it was applauded by critics and is today often considered the “greatest film of all time.” Starring Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane and Ruth Warrick, the movie was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an Academy Award for best original screenplay. The film was added to the National Film Registry in its inaugural year of 1989.
"Fargo” (Gramercy, 1996, *R-rated)
Produced, directed, written and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, this film is a dark comedy set in snowy Minnesota that follows a quirky cast of characters—including a pregnant police officer (Frances McDormand), a manager of a car dealership (William H. Macy) and two hired criminals—involved in the committing and investigating of a crime. A critical and popular success, the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. “Fargo” received seven Academy Award nominations, and McDormand took home a statuette for best actress and the Coen Brothers earned another for best original screenplay. A television series based on the film debuted in 2014. “Fargo” was added to the National Film Registry in 2006.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Sunday, Jan. 8 (2 p.m.)
“The Princess Bride” (20th Century-Fox, 1987)
A grandfather reads a fairy tale to his sick grandson about stable boy-turned-pirate Westley and his journey to rescue his true love Buttercup from the evil Prince Humperdinck. Directed by Rob Reiner and adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel, this family fantasy-adventure stars Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest and Mandy Patinkin. Critically acclaimed, “The Princess Bride” was not a major box-office success when it was released, but became a cult classic after it hit the home-video market. “The Princess Bride” was added to the National Film Registry in Dec. 2016.
Thursday, Jan. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Spanish Dancer” (Paramount, 1923)
Set in early 17th-century Spain, the story of this humorous costume drama follows gypsy singer Maritana (Pola Negri) and her lover, penniless nobleman Don César de Bazan (Antonio Moreno), as they become enmeshed in court intrigue. Directed by Herbert Brenon, the film also features Wallace Beery, Kathlyn Williams and Adolphe Menjou. This restoration print of “The Spanish Dancer” by the EYE Film Institute Netherlands is based on film material from four incomplete prints. The final version now contains 95 percent of the original script. Making his Packard Campus Theater debut, Bernie Anderson will provide live musical accompaniment.
Friday, Jan. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
“East is West” (Associated First National, 1922)
Silent film comedienne Constance Talmadge stars as Chinese maiden Ming Toy, who is about to be sold into slavery when she’s rescued by handsome young American Billy Benson. Ming lands in San Francisco, where Charlie Yong, the ruthless king of Chinatown (Warner Oland) attempts to kidnap her, but Billy comes to the rescue again. Talmadge’s frequent director Sidney Franklin helmed this comedy based on a hit Broadway play that was adapted by screenwriter Frances Marion. The Nederlands Filmmuseum (EYE) undertook a multi-year restoration of “East is West” when a nitrate print was discovered in 2005. The Institute’s silent film curator Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi will introduce the film and Bernie Anderson will provide musical accompaniment.
Friday, Jan. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
“Blackboard Jungle” (MGM, 1955)
Equally renowned for its gritty depiction of rebellious teenagers in an inner-city school and its theme song by Bill Haley and the Comets—“Rock Around the Clock”—“Blackboard Jungle” is a landmark film that defined an era. In 1955, many parents considered rock ‘n’ roll to be immoral and a bad influence on their kids. Despite this, the film was a box-office success and earned four Oscar nominations, including best adapted screenplay for Richard Brooks, who also directed. Glenn Ford stars as a teacher assigned to the school who tries to make a difference. The cast features a group of young, relatively unknown actors, who went on to major careers, including Sidney Poitier, Vic Morrow and Jamie Farr. “Blackboard Jungle” was added to the National Film Registry in Dec. 2016.
“Ball of Fire” (RKO, 1941)
When independent producer Samuel Goldwyn wanted to put together a top-notch film for his top contract star Gary Cooper, he worked out a deal with Paramount to borrow their hottest screenwriting team, Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Wilder based the plot on his original story about a Burlesque dancer who moves in with eight fusty professors (headed by Cooper) to explain “slang” for their new encyclopedia. Cooper suggested Howard Hawks to direct and Barbara Stanwyck (his co-star in “Meet John Doe”) as the leading lady. The result was screwball comedy gold and one of Goldwyn’s biggest hits. This delightful take on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” perfectly captures one of Hawks’ favorite themes—the way conflicting characters can change each other for the better. “Ball of Fire” was added to the National Film Registry in Dec. 2016.
Friday, Jan. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
“Cabaret” (Allied Artists, 1972)
Bob Fosse, who earned a best-director Oscar, translated a highly successful Broadway musical into a film that maintains the vivacity of the stage version while creating an intimacy seldom found in such stage-to-cinema adaptations. Liza Minnelli won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the amoral, mercurial cabaret performer Sally Boles, living it up in 1930s Berlin. Her co-star Joel Grey, who played the wise, worldly master of ceremonies, won the Academy Award for best supporting actor. The film was also recognized for its score, cinematography and art direction. “Cabaret” was added to the National Film Registry in 1995.
Saturday, Jan. 28 (2 p.m.)
“Pinocchio” (Disney, 1940)
Based on stories by 19th-century Italian author Carlo Collodi, this animated Disney classic tells the tale of gentle woodcarver Geppetto (Christian Rub) who builds a marionette to be his substitute son. The puppet Pinocchio (Dick Jones) must earn the right to be made human by proving that he is brave, truthful and unselfish. On his journey to becoming a real boy, Pinocchio encounters Jiminy (Cliff Edwards), a cricket assigned to be Pinocchio’s conscience, eventually mastering his lying and truancy, and selflessly risking his life to save Geppetto, proving himself worthy of becoming human. “Pinocchio” was selected for the National Film Registry in 1994. Also, one of the film’s most lasting contributions is Edwards’ singing of Leigh Harline and Ned Washington’s “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The tune became Disney’s anthem and was added to the National Recording Registry in 2009. The program also will feature The Three Stooges in “Punch Drunks” (Columbia, 1937)
Saturday, Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Terminator” (Orion, 1984, *R-rated)
In 1984, few expected much from the upcoming film “The Terminator.” Director James Cameron, a protégé of legendary independent filmmaker Roger Corman, had made only two films previously—the modest sci-fi short “Xenogenesis” in 1978 and “Piranha Part Two: The Spawning” in 1981. “The Terminator,” however, became one of the sleeper hits of 1984. It blended an ingenious, thoughtful script, influenced by the works of sci-fi legend Harlan Ellison, and non-stop action, moved along by an outstanding synthesizer and early techno soundtrack. Most notable was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star-making performance as the mass-killing cyborg with a laconic sense of humor. The film was selected for the National Film Registry in 2008.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Sunday, Jan. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Prisoner of Zenda” (United Artists, 1937)
A romantic adventure from David O. Selznick, “The Prisoner of Zenda” hearkens to a time of chivalry and swordplay. Anthony Hope’s 1894 novel served as the basis for this and as many as five other filmed interpretations. When an Englishman (Ronald Colman) tours a small kingdom he is discovered to bear a striking resemblance to that country’s royal family, placing Colman in a tangled tale of mistaken identity. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. portrays the scoundrel bent on exposing the charade. Madeleine Carroll is the king’s regal fiancé, and Raymond Massey plays the king’s evil brother. Selznick successfully banked on the film’s escapist charm and capitalized on the world’s fascination with the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII of England, who gave up his throne to marry a commoner. The film was selected for the National Film Registry in 1991.