fredag, januari 01, 2010

american film culture versus a non-existant swedish one

at the end of each year, the UNITED STATES LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, through the specially appointed LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, announces 25 films that has been selected for preservation for what is called "for all time". they are films that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant, but are not the "best" films, "but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture." within the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY has done this since 1989. this means that, rather unceremonially, this has been the 20th anniversy of the existence of the NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY, and 500 films has been picked out, all in all. as MR. JAMES H. BILLINGTON, the LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, describes it: "By preserving the nation’s films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural patrimony and history."

the final selections are made each year after reviewing hundreds of nominated films, a process which is democratically open though the NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION BOARDs website

isn´t it amazing that a nation finds its cinematic legacy so important as to preserve it "for all time"? in SWEDEN, we have the NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE in GRÄNGESBERG. but in contrast to the NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY, the SWEDISH archive does not focus on the cinematic works, rather on privately filmed material. it is believed that such material is more important than the works of organised film production. there is a clear and present difference between the attitude of the U.S. and SWEDEN. in THE STATES, some films are important enough to preserve for ALL OF TIME. in SWEDEN, film isn´t important at all.

one of the films selected in 2009 is "THE MARK OF ZORRO" from 1940. this end climactic duel between TYRONE POWERS and BASIL RATHBONE is quite remarkable. ferocious, energetic, classic, and above all... REAL. look at the length of these takes! there are no cuts to mask the coreography in this scene. could you imagine any of the leading HOLLYWOOD actors conduct a fight sequence for takes as long, and as obviosly dangerous, as this? a truly remarkable scene.

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