Saturday, June 7, 2008

MD Poll: Preserve This

Since it was founded in 1988, the National Film Preservation Board and the Librarian of Congress have chosen 25 classic American films each year to be inducted into the National Film Registry. Prints of each movie, selected for their cultural and historical significance, are "preserved for all time"; including last year's inductees, the registry now houses 475 films.

A quick scan of the complete list of these films reveals that, for the most part, the movies represented are, well, pretty straight. Sure, there's the two men dancing in the Dickson experimental sound film of 1894, as well as such "celluloid closet" classics as Wings, Rebel Without a Cause and Ben-Hur. Also represented are the works of such revered gay directors as F.W. Murnau, James Whale and George Cukor, plus such all-time gay faves as The Wizard of Oz, All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard. However, the closest we get to actual "gay movies" on the list are Some Like It Hot, Midnight Cowboy, Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not exactly representative of "queer cinema", right?

But there is a way to rectify this situation: the NFR is open to nominations from the general public. Therefore, starting this year, we here at Movie Dearest will spearhead an annual campaign (in "Gay Pride Month", June, naturally) to get more GLBT-themed movies placed on the National Film Registry. Each year, one film will be chosen, and we will submit it for consideration along with testimonials (ours and yours) on why it should receive such an honor. And here's where you come in: you get to pick the movie!

This year's ten nominees range from studio forays into the genre (The Boys in the Band, Making Love, Personal Best, Philadelphia) to indie hits (Desert Hearts, Parting Glances, Tongues Untied, Go Fish) and award winning documentaries (The Times of Harvey Milk, The Celluloid Closet). (If you're wondering where, say, Brokeback or Hedwig are, the films have to be at least ten years old -- and American -- to be eligible.)

So head on over to the sidebar at right to cast your vote in the latest MD Poll, and check back in two weeks to see what movie has been selected by you to be the official Movie Dearest choice for the National Film Registry 2008.

UPDATE: This poll is now closed; click here for the results. Click here to vote in the latest MD Poll.

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