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Overthinking Ghostbusters: a call to include Ghostbusters in the National Film Registry

Last week I took rare advantage of my Netflix account and watched These Amazing Shadows, a documentary on the creation and history of the National Film Registry. Each year, a board of filmmakers picks a list of films to officially include in the registry, which means to preserve them forever – the registry itself was formed to combat the growing loss of culturally significant film. Watching the documentary, I began to wonder when Ghostbusters should make the list, as it certainly fit any number of criteria for inclusion. I thought about reaching out to the board and registry curators, as typically one of them has to champion a film, but knew an argument would have to be made, something for which I didn’t have the time. But I needn’t have worried – Adam Bertocci was already on it.

Adam, some of you may recall, did the hilarious Literal Ghostbusters Video – he’s also a filmmaker as well as ghosthead and he’s written what might be the definitive analysis of Ghostbusters (there haven’t been many, and certainly this one appears comprehensive. I’m still working my way through it.)

He’s also included a page on how to nominate Ghostbusters. And I know many of you have a distaste for online petitions, etc. but there are a few things to bear in mind. The first is that several films in the registry (including Hoosiers and Back to the Future) are in the registry because of fan support. The second is that it is a yearly process, meaning all votes made this year will not carry over into next year – this is because the board wants to see a consistency of support, not a false appearance from accumulated votes. So if there’s any one time to participate in an online campaign, this is it.

Please take some time to read Adam’s analysis – I think he’s being a bit unkind to call it Overthinking Ghostbusters (hell, we’ve all been doing that for years), and it is an excellent thought provoker on something we may take for granted in some ways. Then consider sending in your nomination to the NFR – from any angle you look at it, Ghostbusters deserves a spot on that list and I have no doubt it will get there one day – I’d just like it to be sooner rather than later.

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