Cinebanter

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Monday, May 30, 2011

SIFF Sighting: THESE AMAZING SHADOWS (Documentary; USA)

The prestigious National Film Registry is explained, praised and celebrated in the delightful documentary These Amazing Shadows.

Any film nerd will smile through all 88 minutes of love as a who's who of directors, actors, critics and preservationists gush over the importance of cinema as a national scrapbook.

Aside from being charming, the documentary actually teaches us something (who knew that we, the public, could have a say as to what gets nominated?). A greater respect for the meticulous work of the preservationists is also earned, plus, several goosebump-worthy clips are shown to remind us why we're all watching a movie about movies. I'm proud to announce that the whole audience reacted with claps and cheers to the Back to the Future montage.

There are mysteries uncovered, controversies dismantled and just enough humorous anecdotes (thank you, John Waters) to keep this flick from being solely for the geeks.

It made me want to rush home and pull Gone With the Wind off my shelf, then rent about a dozen classic films that I'm ashamed I haven't yet seen.

Three cheers for the Library of Congress, and for directors Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton, for making us aware of this great acknowledgement of art and history.

These Amazing Shadows screened at The 37th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.

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