Our Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China has started a project to purchase films
for their collection. They have asked for help creating a list of titles
to add. Their criteria are quite broad and appear below:
For Feature Films:
1. Films that were popular that changed or helped define American culture
at a particular moment no matter how "lowbrow" they may be ("Animal House,"
for example, should be included).
2. Quality films that reflect an important aspect of American Culture, a
moment in American history, or the concerns/lives of a particular American
subculture or ethnic group, no matter how unpopular they might have been at
the time of release (many of these will be indie/art house films).
3. Representative films in various genres (Sci-fi, westerns, gangster
films, animation, musicals).
4. Films that are important to an understanding of film history (silent
films, breakthrough films of various sorts).
5. Films that reflect American views of and attitudes toward China. (they
will provide titles for this list).
6. Important Chinese films, with English subtitles (they will provide
titles for this list).
For Documentary Films:
These should pertain to some aspect of American or Chinese studies. In
addition to the obvious Ken Burns, American Experience, PBS catalog sort of
films, which we want, we should also look at Oscar-nominated documentaries
and oddball stuff, e.g. Hands on a Hardbody, Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me,
Arthur Dong's Forbidden City, Crumb, Brother's Keeper, After Stonewall.
I been working with another colleague and we've suggested several lists and
sources (e.g., LC's National Film Registry, AFI's various lists, searching
Books in Print and limiting to video, etc.), and they have a lists already
(I'll be happy to share these for those who might want to see them). We
just want to make sure that we're not missing anything so if anyone has
suggestions about where else we should look or specific titles that should
absolutely be on the list, we'd love to hear them.
Thanks so much and please let me know if there are questions or if anyone
Madeline A. Copp, Resource Services Librarian
(English * Film & Media Studies * Writing Seminars * Humanities Center)
Milton S. Eisenhower Library
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218