These Amazing Shadows | Chicago Reader

These Amazing Shadows

Signed into law by President Reagan in 1988, the National Film Preservation Act didn't actually fund the preservation of films, but it did establish the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, a list of historically significant works that's enlarged by 25 titles every year, and it prohibited the owners of these films from colorizing or otherwise altering them without alerting the public. This breezy video documentary by Paul Marino and Kurt Norton touches on some of the tempest-in-a-teapot controversies surrounding the registry (like whether it should include the racist The Birth of a Nation or the not-exactly-endangered Back to the Future), but it serves mainly as a commercial for the cause of film preservation. Dozens of actors, directors, critics, and academics weigh in, and there are zillions of clips from registry films, ranging from the obscure (The Exiles) to the painfully overexposed (Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, etc).

Credits

Directors:

  • Paul Mariano
  • Kurt Norton

Producers:

  • Suzanne Chapot
  • Paul Mariano
  • Kurt Norton
  • Christine O'Malley

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