2010 National Film Registry Films - One Female Director Included

by Melissa Silverstein
January 3, 2011 9:30 AM
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At the end of last month the Library of Congress released this year's list of 25 films that have been added to the National Film Registry.

According to the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, these films are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" important and should be looked at "as works of enduring significance to American culture."

Too bad only one film by a woman, a single five minute short, by Mary Ellen Bute was deemed of significance to American culture. At least we will be making sure that Airplane is preserved.

The good news is the the Beales of Grey Gardens are on the list.

These people need to get on the stick and add more women directed films to the list.

Here's the description of Mary Ellen's film: (from the press release)

Tarantella (1940)
"Tarantella" is a five-minute color, avant-garde short film created by Mary Ellen Bute, a pioneer of visual music and electronic art in experimental cinema. With piano accompaniment by Edwin Gershefsky, "Tarantella" features rich reds and blues that Bute uses to signify a lighter mood, while her syncopated spirals, shards, lines and squiggles dance exuberantly to Gershefsky’s modern beat. Bute produced more than a dozen short films between the 1930s and the 1950s and once described herself as a "designer of kinetic abstractions" who sought to "bring to the eyes a combination of visual forms unfolding with the … rhythmic cadences of music." Bute’s work influenced many other filmmakers working with abstract animation during the ‘30s and ‘40s, and with experimental electronic imagery in the ‘50s.

Hollywood Blockbusters, Independent Films and Shorts Selected for Preservation in the 2010 National Film Registry (press release)

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