Each year, the Librarian of Congress names 25 new titles to the National Film Registry. These films are chosen to “showcase the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.” Currently, there are 17 home movies and amateur films on the Registry. In cooperation with the Center for Home Movies and as a compliment to Private Lives Public Spaces, these 17 films are presented over three programs. Program 95 min.
V-E + 1. 1945. USA. Directed by Sam Fuller. 22 min. Courtesy of The Academy Film Archive.
Sam Fuller documents the burial of beaten and emaciated Holocaust victims found by Allied forces in the Nazi concentration camp at Falkenau, Czechoslovakia.
A Study in Reds. 1932. USA. Directed by Miriam Bennett. 20 min.
This polished amateur film by Miriam Bennett spoofs women’s clubs and the Soviet menace in the 1930s. Presented with music composed by An Orchestrated Impulse (Matt Pond and Chris Hansen).
The Augustas. 1930s–50s. USA. Directed by Scott Nixon. 18 min.
A traveling salesman based in Augusta, Georgia, documents some 38 streets, storefronts, and cities named Augusta in such far-flung locales as Montana and Maine.
The Fall of the House of Usher. 1928. USA. Directed by James Sibley Watson, Melville Webber. 13 min.
Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of the macabre serves as the foundation for this 13-minute avant-garde film.
Reverend Solomon Sir Jones Films. 1924–28. USA. Directed by Rev. Solomon Sir Jones. 10 min.
Focusing on the African American communities in Oklahoma from 1924 to 1928, the films document a rich tapestry of everyday life: funerals, sporting events, schools, parades, businesses, Masonic meetings, river baptisms, and families at home. Presented with music composed by Brian Hall with Troy Vadakan.
Think of Me First as a Person. 1960–75. USA. Directed by Dwight Core Sr., George Ingmire. 11 min.
This loving portrait by a father of his son with Down syndrome represents the creativity and craftsmanship of the American amateur filmmaker.