Monday, January 30, 2012

Does "The Third Man" belong in the National Film Registry?

In London they have a charming movie treat called Secret Cinema. The premise of Secret Cinema is that you're part of a secret film organization. They announce a screening date - but not a location or name of the film. You are instructed to "tell no-one." In the announcement the descriptive language suggests a genre/theme of a classic film. You buy a ticket. Then, at the last minute before the screening date a location and the name of the film is revealed. People attend dressed up like characters or in clothing that suggests the world of the film. The location always changes - warehouses, old theatres, outdoor, indoor. They created a cyberpunk bazzar for Blade Runner and filled a venue with camels and Bedouins for Lawrence of Arabia. Again, they stress you are to "tell no-one." It's pretty cool.

Photo showing the world created for the Secret Cinema screening of The Third Man. More photos can be seen by clicking on the "posted photos" link below. 
The last Secret Cinema film screened was The Third Man. As part of setting the mood for the screening they posted photos of the world they created for the audience/participants. The Third Man is one of our favorite films and we believe it should be in the National Film Registry. However, there is the question of can one justify it as an "American" film? Two of the leads - Joseph Cotton and Orson Wells - and one of the producers - David O. Selznick (though he's uncredited) - are Americans. Orson Wells is an given uncredited co-screenwriting credit. Tough call. We say - yes. What do you think?

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