Feature films, shorts and cartoons named to the National Film Registry for posterity will be showcased at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, in February. Dating from 1913 to 2000, these films have been named to the registry because of their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic significance.
Many of the registry titles being screened were listed in the most recent annual selection of 25 motion pictures added to the National Film Registry in December 2014. Included on the schedule are the popular Hollywood features "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," "The Big Lebowski," "Rio Bravo," "The Gang’s All Here" and "The Wild Bunch."
Two early silent films—"The Dragon Painter," starring Sessue Hayakawa, and "Shoes," directed by Lois Weber—will be screened with live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson and Makia Matsumura, respectively.
Presidents Day (Feb. 16) will be commemorated with a Feb. 12 screening of the National Film Registry’s "Young Mr. Lincoln," directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Additional registry titles on the schedule are the 2001 Academy Award winner for best documentary, "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport"; the 1954 version of "A Star is Born," starring Judy Garland; and a matinee of "Back to the Future," which will be accompanied by the Pixar short subjects "Tin Toy" and "Luxo Jr." Considered the first three-dimensional computer-animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, "Luxo Jr." was among the recent inductees into the registry.
For more information on the National Film Registry, visit www.loc.gov/film.
Short-subject films will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice. Screenings at the Packard Campus are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
Seating at the Packard Campus Theater’s free screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, for a ticketing service charge, patrons can ensure admission to these shows by reserving tickets through the State Theatre website (www.culpepertheatre.org) or by visiting the State Theatre ticket office at 305 S. Main Street in Culpeper, Virginia.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation). The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (www.loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) and the national registries for film and recorded sound.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
"Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport" (Warner Bros., 2000)
Just prior to World War II, a rescue operation aided the youngest victims of Nazi terror when 10,000 children were sent from their homes and families to live with foster families and in group homes in Great Britain. This Oscar-winning film was directed by Mark Jonathan Harris, writer and director of another Oscar winner, "The Long Way Home," and was produced by Deborah Oppenheimer, whose mother was among the children evacuated. The film examines the bond between parent and child, uncovering the anguish of the parents who reluctantly acknowledged they could no longer protect their children, but through their love saw a chance to protect them, by proxy if not proximity. Interviews with the surviving children reveal feelings of abandonment and estrangement that often took years to overcome. Narrated by Judi Dench, the documentary was added to the National Film Registry in December 2014.
Friday, Feb. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
"Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" (Paramount, 1986)
The late John Hughes, the king of both 1980s family comedy and teen angst, achieved a career high-point with this funny, heartfelt tale of a teenage wiseacre (Matthew Broderick) whose day playing hooky leads not only to a host of comic misadventures but also, ultimately, to self-realization for him and his friends. Hughes’ manner of depicting late-20th-century youth—their outward and inner lives—finds a successful vehicle in the "everyman" appeal of lead Broderick, whose conning of his parents is really an honest and earnest attempt to help his best friend. Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey and Jeffrey Jones co-starred in the film. This 2014 addition is Hughes’ first film on the National Film Registry.
Saturday, Feb. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
"A Star is Born" (Warner Bros., 1954)
Conceived as a comeback role for a troubled Judy Garland, who hadn’t appeared in a film in four years, this powerful musical remake of the 1937 hit "A Star is Born" showcased her vocal, dancing and acting talents as never before. James Mason costars as the alcoholic, self-destructive actor Norman Maine who takes small-time cabaret girl Esther Blodgett (Garland) under his wing, changes her name to Vicki Lester and coaches her to movie stardom as his own career is fading. Directed by George Cukor with an insightful script by Moss Hart and memorable songs by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin, the film was critically acclaimed, but performed poorly at the box office. Motion picture exhibitors complained about the original 181-minute length of the film, so Warner Bros. cut 27 minutes, including two musical numbers and some development scenes. The 1983 restored version, featuring most of the deleted material, will be screened. Some of the missing footage had to be reconstructed using "pan and scan" of production stills, accompanied by the restored dialogue. The film earned six Oscar nominations, including best leading actor for Mason and best leading actress for Garland. It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2000.
Thursday, Feb. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
"Young Mr. Lincoln" (20th Century-Fox, 1939)
Henry Fonda portrays the future 16th president of the United States in a brief period of his life, as he rises from a country boy born in a log cabin to a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, defending two young men unjustly accused of murder. Directed by John Ford and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, the fictionalized biography received an Academy Award nomination for Lamar Trotti for best original screenplay. Though Lincoln is portrayed in this film as a bit of a rogue, Ford stated that he wanted the picture "to give the feeling that even as a young man you could sense that there was going to be something great." The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2003.
Thursday, Feb. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Big Lebowski" (Gramercy, 1998, R-rated *)
From the unconventional visionaries Joel and Ethan Coen came this 1998 tale of kidnapping, mistaken identity and bowling. The Coens explore themes of alienation, inequality and class structure via a group of hard-luck, off-beat characters suddenly drawn into each other’s orbits. Jeff Bridges, in a career-defining role, stars as "The Dude," an LA-based slacker who shares a last name with a rich man whose arm-candy wife is indebted to shady figures. Joining Bridges are John Goodman, Tara Reid, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and, in a now-legendary cameo, John Turturro. "Lebowski" is stuffed with vignettes—each staged through the Coens’ trademark absurdist, innovative visual style—that are alternately funny and disturbing.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, Feb. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
"Rio Bravo" (Warner Bros., 1959)
As legend goes, this Western, directed by Howard Hawks, was produced in part as a riposte to Fred Zinnemann’s "High Noon." The film trades in the wide-open spaces of "High Noon" for the confines of a small jail where a sheriff and his deputies are waiting for the transfer of a prisoner and the anticipated attempt by his equally unlawful brother to help the prisoner escape. John Wayne stars as sheriff John T. Chance and is aided in his efforts to keep the law by Walter Brennan, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. Angie Dickinson is the love interest and Western regulars Claude Akins, Ward Bond and Pedro Gonzalez are also featured. A smart Western where gunplay is matched by wordplay, "Rio Bravo" is a terrific ensemble piece and director Hawks’ last great film. It was named to the registry in 2014.
Saturday, Feb. 21 (2 p.m.)
"Back to the Future" (Universal, 1985)
Writer/director Robert Zemeckis explored the possibilities of special effects in the 1985 box-office smash "Back to the Future." With his writing partner Bob Gale, Zemeckis tells the tale of accidental time-traveler Marty McFly. Stranded in the year 1955, Marty (Michael J. Fox)—with the help of Dr. Emmett Brown (played masterfully over-the-top by Christopher Lloyd)—must not only find a way home, but also teach his father how to become a man, repair the space/time continuum and save his family from being erased from existence. In addition to all of this, he must fight off the advances of his then-teenage mother. This sci-fi comedy adventure was selected for preservation in the 2007 registry. "Luxo Jr." and "Tin Toy," two animated shorts from Pixar that are also on the registry, will be shown before the feature.
Saturday, Feb. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Dragon Painter" (Robertson-Cole Distributing, 1919)
In "The Dragon Painter," Hollywood’s first Asian star, Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa, is teamed with his wife Tsuru Aoki in the story of an obsessed, untutored painter who loses his artistic powers after he finds and marries the supposed "dragon princess." His passion and earlier pursuit of her had consumed him with the urge to create. This lyrical drama was added to the National Film Registry in December 2014. Andrew Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment for the program, which will also include the National Film Registry comedy short "One Week," starring Buster Keaton.
Thursday, Feb. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Gang’s All Here" (20th Century-Fox, 1943)
In "The Gang’s All Here," a soldier, who turns out to be a rich playboy using an assumed name, romances showgirl Alice Faye, Fox’s No. 1 musical star at the time. Carmen Miranda is also featured and her outrageous costume is highlighted in the legendary musical number "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat." Busby Berkeley directs and choreographs the film, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.
Friday, Feb. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Wild Bunch" (Warner Bros., 1969, R-rated *)
Aging desperadoes out for a final payday learn too late and at too high a cost that they have become obsolete. The movie employed techniques, such as double-printing action moments—seen in succession from different angles, with liberal use of slow motion and lots of blood—that were used as a storytelling device. Sam Peckinpah’s direction, brilliant performances by the entire cast (including William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Emilio Fernández and Strother Martin), outstanding cinematography and editing make it a true American classic. The landmark Western received Academy Award nominations for best original screenplay and best original score. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 1999.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, Feb. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
"Shoes" (Universal, 1916)
Renowned silent era writer-director Lois Weber drew on her experiences as a missionary to create "Shoes," a masterfully crafted melodrama heightened by Weber’s intent to create, as she noted in an interview, "a slice out of real life." Weber’s camera empathetically documents the suffering of her central character, an underpaid shopgirl (Mary MacLaren), struggling to support her family. Weber details Eva’s growing desire for the pair of luxurious shoes she passes each day in a shop window, her self-examination in a cracked mirror after she agrees to go out with a cabaret singer to acquire the shoes, her repugnance as the man puts his hands on her body, and her shame as she breaks down in tears while displaying her newly acquired goods to her mother. "Shoes" was named to the National Film Registry in 2014. Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment for the program, which also will feature the National Film Registry comedy shorts "Mabel’s Blunder" and "Matrimony’s Speed Limit."