Hannibal Lecter will be opening a celebratory bottle of Chianti and finding someone to have for dinner at the news that Jonathan Demme’s 1991 thriller The Silence Of The Lambs is part of the National Film Registry’s typically eclectic list of films to be Preserved For All Time.*
Announced by the Library of Congress across the pond, the list is always made public around this time of year and movies make the cut because, according to Librarian of Congress James H Billington, they are “selected because of their enduring significance to American culture. Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams."
So what other “treasures” are on there besides the psychopathic slitherings of Doctor Lecter? Robert Zemeckis’ still-divisive, Oscar-scooping Forrest Gump for one, and Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 classic The Kid for another.
Also on the list? Disney's Bambi (1942), Billy Wilder’s drinking drama The Lost Weekend (1945), George Pal’s 1953 take on HG Wells’ The War Of The Worlds and John Ford’s Western epic The Iron Horse (1924).
And it’s not just big, well known titles, either: more obscure work such as 1971 documentary Growing Up Female and child labour drama The Cry Of Children from 1912 is also on there. We’re especially happy to see that Ed Catmull’s ground-breaking work, A Computer Animated Hand is also present, which, while it might be only a minute long, showcases a technique that is one of the roots of today’s effects technology and part of the DNA for Pixar.
To check out the full list, take a look at the LA Times’ report on the announcement.
*Mayan apocalypse not withstanding, of course.