Two films that Steven Spielberg had a hand in, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Back to the Future, were both selected alongside 23 other films to be shelved forever in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. They'll get locked up inside a hermetically sealed vault, and preserved in mason jars with really tight steel lids, to keep the freshness in. What other scifi films were deemed by the government to be worthy of preservation forever?
These films join 475 others in the National Registry, although only 13 others are science fiction, including everything from Alien to The Nutty Professor. Even Groundhog Day is in there, trapping Bill Murray for all eternity in a regressive time loop. The Library itself chooses a few of the films, and the public nominates the others, which means you've got films like Fast Times At Ridgemont High sitting alongside Citizen Kane, so we're not clear on how auspicious an honor this is. But at least future generations will have access to topless Phoebe Cates.
Check out some of the cool features of the National Film Registry's Film Vault/Bunker:
- It's built mostly underground, so a nuclear attack won't stop us from having fresh copies of Dances With Wolves at hand.
- There are over 90 miles of shelves inside, which make browsing a real bitch.
- A below-freezing vault keeps film masters, as well as Walt Disney's head, perfectly preserved.
- They preserve digital film at the petabyte (one million gigabytes) level. Cell phones will catch up to that storage level around 2015.
- It is fully equipped to playback antique film formats, even movies on Beta tapes.
- It has high-quality fiber optic connections to Capitol Hill for when your congressman needs to run out and catch a few minutes of Do The Right Thing.