Twenty-five films, ranging over more than a century of cinema from the 1903 two-minute long actuality Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island to the 2003 documentary The Fog Of War, have been named as this year’s inductees onto the Library of Congress’s National Film register.
Other films included in this year’s class are Gaslight (1944), which netted Ingrid Bergman her first Oscar, Old Yeller (1957), the Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty (1959), multiple Academy Award Nominees such as Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), Amadeus (1984) and Platoon (1986), Prince’s pop culture sensation Purple Rain (1984) and indie fare such as Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (1986) and Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994).
This year’s films include four documentaries – I Am Somebody (1970), The Last Waltz (1978), Before Stonewall (1984) and The Fog Of War. Additionally, the list features a record seven films by women directors – Patricia Cardos’ Real Women Have Curves (2002), Kimberly Peirce’s Oscar winner Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Greta Schiller’s Before Stonewall, Claudia Weill’s Girlfriends (1978), Elaine May’s A New Leaf (1971), Madeline Anderson’s I Am Somebody and Gunvor Nelson’s avant-garde My Name Is Oona (1969).
Cardoso’s inclusion marks the first time a film by a Latina director has been named to the Registry. Her work, as well as the inclusion of Lee’s She’s Got To Have It and Smith’s Clerks highlight that era’s emerging independent film movement as a place where non-traditional stories and voices were starting to be heard.
The Library of Congress names 25 films annually to the National Film Registry as per the dictates of the National Film preservation Act. The purpose is to build a collection of film that is considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. Previous films named to the Registry range from Star Wars to the 8mm color motion picture footage shot by Abraham Zapruder of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. All nominated films must be at least ten years old.
This year’s inductees brings the total number of films on the registry to 775.
The complete list of films named this year are as follows alphabetically –
Becky Sharp (1935)
Before Stonewall (1984)
Body And Soul (1925)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island (1903)
Employees Entrance (1933)
Fog Of War (2003)
George Washington Carver At Tuskegee Institute (1937)
I Am Somebody (1970)
The Last Waltz (1978)
My Name Is Oona (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)
Old Yeller (1957)
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Purple Rain (1984)
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Zoot Suit (1981)