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WIRE Buzz: The Dark Knight & Shrek join National Film Registry; Equinox trailer; and Netflix's 'Surviving Death'

By Josh Weiss
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight

The Library of Congress just inducted 25 new classics into the National Film Registry, including Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange adaptation, and DreamWork's first Shrek movie.

"This is not only a great honor for all of us who worked on The Dark Knight, this is also a tribute to all of the amazing artists and writers who have worked on the great mythology of Batman over the decades," Nolan said in a statement.

Released in the summer of 2008, the sequel to Batman Begins is considered a groundbreaking addition to the superhero genre on the big screen thanks, in part, to the late Heath Ledger's iconic (and definitive) performance as the Joker.

As for Shrek... well, unless you've been living under a rock, it's pretty hard not to notice the meme culture that's sprung up around the ogre-based IP. A not-so-veiled satire of Disney's corporate culture, Shrek was also considered groundbreaking in the way it put a meta twist on classic fairy tales.

The Dark Knight & Shrek

This year's additions to the registry (The Hurt Locker and The Joy Luck Club also made the cut) marked "a record number of films directed by women and filmmakers of color, including nine directed by women and seven by people of color," says the official release.

"The National Film Registry is an important record of American history, culture and creativity, captured through one of the great American art-forms, our cinematic experience," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles."

With Dark now over, you're probably looking for a new German language mystery-thriller with some kind of genre element, right?

Look no further than Equinox, a brand-new series coming to Netflix at the end of this month. Based on Tea Lindeburg's Equinox 1985 podcast, the upcoming show (which just dropped its first trailer) follows Astrid (Danica Curcic), a woman trying to unravel the unexplained disappearance of her sister, Ida, and the rest of Ida's school class in 1999. The incident left only three survivors, who can barely recount what happened. Twenty-one years later, one of them contacts Astrid through her late-night radio show before winding up dead. Determined to find the truth, Astrid's investigation leads to the discovery of "a dark and unsettling truth that involves her in ways she never imagined," promises the official synopsis.

Watch the trailer below:

"We feel so lucky to have this talented team of actors. It's exciting to see this story, which has beenwith me for so long, coming to life in such a beautiful way," Lindeburg said when the project was first announced last December.

Equinox premieres on Netflix Wednesday, Dec. 30.

After the release of 2017's The Discovery, Netflix is diving back into the search for proof of an Afterlife in the brand-new docuseries, Surviving Death. Executive produced by Ricki Stern (Reversing Roe, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work), the show is based on the book of the same name by Leslie Kean. Across its six episodes, the project will explore the all-important question of "What does it mean to die, and is death the end of our existence?"

"The question of what happens to us after we die is something we have pondered throughout history – confronting mortality takes us down a path to explore the possibility that consciousness might live on after the body dies," Stern said in a statement. "Reading Leslie Kean's book ... I was fascinated by the many scientists and doctors who have been studying this question, by the extraordinary cases where people have died and come back to share their experiences, and by the emotionally poignant stories of people seeking contact with their loved ones through mediums."

Surviving Death


Surviving Death


Surviving Death


Surviving Death


Surviving Death

Per the release, the series uses "innovative new research with firsthand accounts from those who've been close to — and even experienced — death, the series takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into a world beyond human existence as we know it."

"The series ... takes the viewer into the research labs of scientists exploring consciousness and into the lives of real people who have experienced loss and grief, seeking answers to the question what happens when we die?" added Stern. "Is there life after death? At this time when the world is experiencing so much death, my hope is that the series will speak to anyone who has ever wondered about a lost loved one or has tried to understand the meaning of death and what might come after."

Surviving Death arrives on Netflix Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.