Scott OT #95: The Night Thread Is Preserved in the Library of Congress (6/26)

The National Film Registry in the Library of Congress is one of the most important institutions in American film. A lot of classic and popular movies in no danger of being forgotten are preserved there, which is understandable if boring. What I’m really interested in with them are the early minority films, cultural artifacts, and just plain weird shit that gets preserved along with the big names.

I genuinely can’t think of a better source to find early minority films. From the films of Solomon Sir Jones that document the lives of African-Americans in the 1920s to the Fuentes family home movies depicting a few peaks into a Mexican-American community in Corpus Christi to Through Navajo Eyes, a showcase of films by and for Navajo.

There’s a bunch of neat cultural artifacts in there as well. There’s early film footage of William McKinley, the first sitting president to be shot on film. Hours of footage of WWII shot by famous Hollywood directed by George Stevens are preserved aw well. And Cicero March documents a Civil Rights march in Cicero, Illinois.

There’s a bunch of delightfully weird shit that’s included as well. There’s The House In The Middle, a completely bonkers paint advertisement that I documented a few months ago. Stan Brakhage’s five part avant-garde classic Dog Star Man has a place in the NFR too. And to go alongside Tod Browning’s classic adaptation of Dracula is a Spanish language version shot on the same sets after everyone went home.

Hope you all have fun posting here tonight and have a great night.