2011 Film Registry

Every year at the end of December, the Library of Congress announces 25 films that have been added to the National Film Registry to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures.

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (my most watched DVD)

This year I learned the news first-hand from the Director of the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus facility where much of the Library’s audio visual material is stored and preserved. We met briefly in the Motion Picture and Television reading room in the Madison Building. It was Wednesday, December 28, and I had taken the day off to view television news programs as part of my research for the Katzenbach biography. My original plan was to watch Katzenbach on Meet the Press in 1965, but instead I ended up watching Alabama Governor George Wallace on Meet the Press in 1963, just days before his infamous stand in the Schoolhouse Door (see my blog post on June 11, 2011).

Little did I know when the Director of the Packard Campus, with his camera crew in tow, asked my permission to be filmed for a story about the film registry that one of the 25 titles to make this year’s list was “Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment.” This is actually one of the few films I own, and by far the DVD I have watched most. It is heralded as one of the first cinema verite films and broke new ground for documentaries on so many levels. Filmmaker Robert Drew and his crew transport you behind the scenes as decisions are made, and action taken, related to the integration of the University of Alabama. Drew is there on the steps of the University of Alabama when Katzenbach confronts Wallace. He is there during prep meetings with the students, and he is even in the oval office with President Kennedy.

I have to admit I think Crisis is a great choice by the Library.  Other titles that made the National Film Registry this year, and stole the spotlight, included Bambi and Forrest Gump (I liked those too).

Now that this blog is officially posted, it’s time to go celebrate the new year!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Alison Macor on December 31, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Great post! So interesting. I agree, too, about Crisis and its relevance to film (not to mention cultural) history. Happy New Year!

    Reply

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