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The American Library of congress has added Airplane! and what is arguably the best of the Star Wars movies, The Empire Strikes Back, to the National Film Registry in a year where both films lost key legendary figures
The great Lesley Nielsen turned from a serious actor into a legendary comic actor in Airplane! who died at the end of November and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was directed Irvin Kershner who died just one day before.
These 2 additions are joined by 23 other film which includes classics such as The Exorcist, The Pink Panther, which also lost its director, Blake Edwards, this year and Saturday Night Fever.
The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, has two connection with the list, The Empire Strikes Back which he wrote and produced and THX1138 which was his feature film debut.
The full list of additions is as follows:
All the President's Men (1976)
The Bargain (1914)
Cry of Jazz (1959)
Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Front Page (1931)
Grey Gardens (1976)
I Am Joaquin (1969)
It's a Gift (1934)
Let There Be Light (1946)
Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
Malcolm X (1992)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
Newark Athlete (1891)
Our Lady of the Sphere (1969)
The Pink Panther (1964)
Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Study of a River (1996)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
A Trip Down Market Street (1906)
I know this is one of those events we knew was coming, and sooner rather than later and ign.com have now got virtual confirmation from Lucasfilms Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet that a Blu-ray box set of all 6 films has been in the works for a couple of years now.
He does say that this isn't the long rumored and fast becoming legendary Ultimate box se but Sansweet says ”We have been at work for a couple of years working on—I won't call it the Ultimate Set because we keep finding stuff—but, a very full set of all six movies on Blu-ray with lots of extra material. We're finding all kinds of scenes from dailies that have never been seen before. Beyond all of those things that you know about… there are some real treasures.”, so after this we can expect even more, probably on the next media format if there is one.
So what's the date for this? Soon can mean years down the line in Blu-ray production time, but the American site The Digital Bits is reporting that it has been told by it's industry insiders of an October 2011 date has been quietly on the slate for a while.
It's no surprise that we will have a high def version of the Star Wars films sometime in the future to add to the Betamax, VHS (multiple versions) and both version on DVD, and come late 2011 seems a reasonable time scale for the films, lets hope this is it, or will the touted 3D version be with us by 2012, good job we love these films.
With the sad passing of legendary '80's teen movie director John Hughes this week I find myself for the second time in a couple of months reflecting on my childhood, I grew up watching John Hughes movies as I did listening to Michael Jackson music.
John Hughes was a director and writer who was tapped directly into the teenage angst of the '80's, like almost no other writer of the time we demonstrated on screen and in words exactly what us teens at the time were thinking and trying to tell our parents.
It doesn't matter if it was Ferris Buellers rebelling against the school and deciding to have a day off, or 5 kids stuck in detention for crimes of simply growing up, the anguish a young boy, or girl, can go through when the object of their affection fancies someone else, these movies spoke to us and often spoke for us.
My personal favourite film of his is The Breakfast Club, as with all his films it has what is now considered a typical 80's soundtrack, but the moment you see Judd Nelson punch the air and hear Simple Minds chant "he he he" you know it's an iconic figure to last. Weird Science and Ferris Buellers Day Off of further examples of classic teen movies much loved by the kids of the generation and directed by Hughes, but it's the films he attached his name to as producer or writer which further show proof of his genius.
Although it's been nearly 20 years since his name was really in the spotlight with a big movie his legendary status has survived and he will be sorely missed.