The Legacy Continues

Last year, we told you about Daniel Eagan’s rigorous, informative, and very entertaining book America’s Film Legacy, a guide to the titles chosen for the National Film Registry, which was instituted following 1988’s National Film Preservation Act. The tome is invaluable not only for being a compendium of these preserved movies but also for Eagan’s writing, which is extensively researched and smartly critical. Now, Continuum Press has released Eagan’s supplemental America’s Film Legacy: 2009–2010, which gives the same treatment to the fifty landmark movies added to the registry in the past two years. Criterion viewers will be happy to note the inclusion of Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow (which gets a detailed exegesis of how its unabashed tear-jerking repelled audiences in the late thirties) and the Maysles’s Grey Gardens (with background on the vérité filmmakers’ motivations and questions about the nature of the film’s play with reality). We look forward to seeing what films will be added in the future.

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