- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2005

Director and co-writer George Clooney resurrects Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy via archival footage in “Good Night, and Good Luck,” his painstaking homage to broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow. It isn’t the first time filmmakers have turned to the vaults. Here are five films in which the technique proved illuminating.

Zelig (1983) — Woody Allen’s neglected gem inserts the writer/director/star into history via archival footage. The New York neurotic could have benefited from modern-day CGI, but the results still impress for their time.

Forrest Gump (1994) — This box of chocolates might be too precious for some, but its film wizardry allowed Forrest to interact with such iconic figures as President Nixon and Elvis Presley.

The Limey (2001) — What better way for director Steven Soderbergh to show audiences what a youthful bolt of criminal charisma his anti-hero is than to show footage of Terence Stamp from his 1967 film “Poor Cow.”

JFK (1991) — Oliver Stone’s divisive take on President Kennedy’s assassination uses footage from that fateful day to weave together a skein of conspiracies. Say what you will about Mr. Stone’s motives, the Zapruder film remains among the more powerful pieces of celluloid we have.

Jules and Jim (1962) — Francois Truffaut’s classic revisits World War I with existing footage to help skip across 25 years worth of history and emotion.

Bonus: “Superman Returns” (2006) — We’re gazing into our crystal ball here, but director Bryan Singer wouldn’t be daft enough to use footage of Marlon Brando circa 1978 as Superman’s father unless he could make it look seamless, right?

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