The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 movies to make the cut for the National Film Registry. The selection this year, considered among America’s most influential motion pictures, includes such titles as Christopher Nolan’s 2008 The Dark Knight; DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek, 1978 summer musical smash Grease and 1980 John Belushi/Dan Aykroyd comedy The Blues Brothers.
The list also notably shines a spotlight this year on diverse stories and filmmakers including Wayne Wang’s 1993 The Joy Luck Club; 1963’s Lilies Of The Field, for which Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor; Melvin Van Peebles’ 1971 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; 2010 documentary Freedom Riders; and 1982’s Losing Ground from Kathleen Collins.
Out of the 25 movies selected, there is a record number of films directed by women including Losing Ground, as well as Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar winner The Hurt Locker, 1913 silent film Suspense, co-directed by Lois Weber; 1918 silent pic Bread from Ida May Park; 1929’s With Car And Camera Around The World from Aloha Wanderwell; Ida Lupino’s 1950 drama Outrage; Julie Dash’s student film Illusions about Hollywood racism; 1994’s The Devil Never Sleeps by Lourdes Portillo; and 2006’s Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege co-directed by Joan Lander.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “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.”
Said Bigelow, “My desire in making The Hurt Locker was to honor those in uniform serving in dangerous posts abroad, so I have been gratified by the resonance the film has had over the last ten years. For it to be selected by the National Film Registry is both humbling and thrilling.”
Commented Nolan, “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.”
For Jon Landis, “Having The Blues Brothers chosen to be included in the National Film Registry is both a great honor and a delightful surprise. The film is the result of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s genuine passion for rhythm and blues and our mutual love for these great African American artists and the city of Chicago.”
Many titles named to the registry have already been preserved by copyright holders, filmmakers or other archives. In cases where a selected title has not already been preserved, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film will be preserved by some entity and available for future generations.
This year’s list brings the number of films selected for preservation in the registry to 800. Turner Classic Movies will host a television special from 8PM ET on December. 15 to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry. Among the films to air are The Battle of the Century, Lilies of the Field, Illusions, The Joy Luck Club, Cabin in the Sky and The Man with the Golden Arm.
Here’s the full rundown of this year’s additions:
The Battle Of The Century (1927)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Cabin In The Sky (1943)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
Freedom Riders (2010)
The Ground (1993-2001)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
Lilies Of The Field (1963)
Losing Ground (1982)
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
With Car And Camera Around The World (1929)