WASHINGTON (AP) -- Crank up the volume to 11 forever: "This is Spinal
Tap" will be preserved by the National Film Registry.
The mordant 1984 "mockumentary" of rock star pretensions joins the
children's classic "The Black Stallion," sci-fi groundbreaker
"Alien," John Singleton's 1991 account of Los Angeles gang life "Boyz
N the Hood," and 21 other films selected this year for preservation
by the Library of Congress.
Also included are "All My Babies," a 1953 film made to educate
midwives in the South, and "Through Navajo Eyes," a 1966 series of
documentaries on an Indian tribe.
The registry now contains 350 films. Making the list helps "ensure
that the film is preserved for all time," the library said in a
"The selection of a film, I stress, is not an endorsement of its
ideology or content, but rather a recognition of the film's
importance in American film and cultural history and history in
general," Congressional Librarian James H. Billington said.
"Spinal Tap" was not the first satire to use the documentary form to
needle its subject, but with its would-be geniuses delivering bloated
confessionals and staging "events" that go hilariously awry, it has
become the template for others.
In one memorable moment, rock auteur Nigel Tufnel, played by
Christopher Guest, explains his pride and joy -- an amplifier with
dials that reach "11" -- to a documentarian played by the film's real
director, Rob Reiner.
"It's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you
know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all
the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can
you go from there? Where?"
"Alien," the 1979 Ridley Scott film, veered cinematic science fiction
sharply away from the sunny optimism of "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and restored the threat of the
unknown to space exploration. It also established what was then
almost unknown: the strong female sci-fi lead, played by Sigourney
"There's a tiny door in that empty office. It's a portal, Maxine.
It takes you inside John Malkovich. You see the world through
John Malkovich's eyes, then, after about fifteen minutes, you're
spit out into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike ..."
John Cusack as "Craig Schwartz" - "Being John Malkovich" - 1999
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