Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend

Via Dwight comes word of this year’s additions to the National Film Registry. In addition to a bunch of “Hey, that wasn’t in there already?” selections The Shawshank Redemption, Ghostbusters, etc.), there is the usual list of obscure early films, one of which is “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend,” based on the Winsor McCay comic of the same name.

Naturally it’s on YouTube:

It features the sort of in-camera special effects Georges Méliès did better (and quicker). Welsh Rarebit, by the way, is a sort of cheese-on-toast dish (though given how quickly our fiend is quaffing potent potables, I don’t think the rarebit had that much to do with his dreams…).

Also included in this year’s selections: “Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze” from 1894, the earliest copyrighted motion picture footage in America, and which I now present to you in its entirety:

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3 Responses to “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend”

  1. A.A. Kidd says:

    I’m disappointed with the films selected this year; it’s clear that those choosing them are getting younger and younger, as not only were too many recent films selected, but political correctness and identity politics determined too many other choices. L.A. Confidential and Shawshank Redemption certainly belong there (although I’m not a fan of the latter), but it’s way too early to include them in my opinion while there are still plenty of much older features that deserve preservation, and Top Gun hardly is of enough artistic merit or lasting historical importance to be selected. The Spanish-language Dracula is an interesting choice, but consider the even greater horror films of the era that have yet to enter the Registry: Island of Lost Souls, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mystery of the Wax Museum, The Most Dangerous Game, The Mummy, and even Topper and Death Takes a Holiday.

  2. Lawrence Person says:

    I haven’t actually seen Top Gun, but you could argue it’s emblematic of as a big budget action film of that era. However, on that basis, Die Hard probably should have gone in first.

    And definitely Island of Lost Souls should have gotten in before the Spanish-language Dracula. (Have you seen the Criterion extra where Devo talks about how influential it was on them? I always thought it was the Wells novel directly, but it was actually Island of Lost Souls.)

  3. A.A. Kidd says:

    Yup! I particularly loved the Rick Baker/Bob Burns extra. Bob himself is a national treasure.

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