Today the Library of Congress announced 25 more films to be included in the U.S. National Film Registry, a collection that currently preserves 550 films deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” including classics like Fatty’s Tintype Tangle, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Dickson Experimental Sound Film.
To that auspicious list, we can now addAirplane!, The Exorcist, Malcolm X, The Empire Strikes Back, and what is now the oldest film in the collection, a short piece filmed in 1891 at Thomas Edison’s Black Maria studio, titled Newark Athlete.
The thirty-second short, one of the oldest surviving films, depicts a shirtless man working out by swinging Indian clubs. Strangely enough, it reminded me of another film I’d seen somewhere before . . .