>> Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Greetings fellow inebriates,
Soused cinema enthusiasts received a late Christmas gift today when the Library of Congress announced the list of 2011 inductees in the National Film Registry. Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. Amongst this year's list is The Lost Weekend, probably the most important booze movie ever produced.
Prior to Billy Wilder's film, drunkenness was generally depicted in the movies for comedic effect. Even serious dramas often employed booze as comedy relief. The Lost Weekend was the first film to depict alcoholism fairly accurately (with the exception of an uplifting ending that doesn't quite mesh with the rest). Here's how the Library of Congress described the film in today's press release:
A landmark social-problem film, "The Lost Weekend" provided audiences of 1945 with an uncompromising look at the devastating effects of alcoholism. Directed by Billy Wilder and co-written by Wilder and Charles Brackett, the film melded an expressionistic film-noir style with documentary realism to immerse viewers in the harrowing experiences of an aspiring New York writer willing to do almost anything for a drink. Despite opposition from his studio, the Hays Office and the liquor industry, Wilder created a film ranked as one of the best of the decade that won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Direction, Screenplay and Actor (Ray Milland), and established him as one of America’s leading filmmakers.To read the full press release and to check out the other 24 inductees, click on the link below:
2011 National Film Registry
Have a safe and happy new year, and check out the excellent boozy dark comedy, Young Adult, if you get a chance. I'll post a full review of Young Adult when it's released on video, but consider it highly recommended.