NYU Student Film Selected for National Film Registry


The student film Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972) by NYU Tisch School of the Arts alumnus Martin Brest ’73 has been selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. The selection was made in an announcement by the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

Hot Dogs for Gauguin was written and directed by Brest who later went on to direct Beverly Hills Cop, Scent of a Woman, and Meet Joe Black. The cast includes Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman in her film debut. In this film, described as hilarious by the Library of Congress, DeVito plays a down-on-his-luck photographer determined to capture visual magic and fame. He concocts an intricate plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty and sets his camera to record the exact moment of its destruction.

“Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of protecting America’s matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity,” said Billington. “By preserving the nation’s films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural patrimony and history.”

Each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the registry that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant to be preserved for all time. These films are selected not as the best American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. To nominate a film for next year’s registry, visit www.loc.gov/film.

This year’s other selections date from 1911 to 1995, and range from the sci-fi classic The Incredible Shrinking Man and Bette Davis’s Oscar-winning performance in Jezebel to the Muppets’ movie debut and Michael Jackson’s iconic video Thriller.

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