‘Return of the Jedi’ Tops 2021 National Film Registry List

The Library of Congress Dec. 14 announced that the 25 films joining the National Film Registry in 2021 would include the “Star Wars” sequel Return of the Jedi, as well as films such as Wall-E, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Strangers on a Train, Selena and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Under the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names to the National Film Registry 25 motion pictures that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the selections after conferring with members of the National Film Preservation Board and a cadre of Library specialists. Also considered were more than 6,100 titles nominated by the public.

Return of the Jedi from 1983 was selected after receiving the most votes from the public. Its inclusion completes the placement of the original “Star Wars” trilogy onto the National Film Registry, making it the first franchise with at least three films on the list. The original 1977 film was included in the inaugural list in 1989, while 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back was included in 2010.

“Little did I know when I started writing a tale about good, evil, friendship and the Force, it would become a lifelong journey of creativity, imagination and innovation for so many,” said “Star Wars” creator George Lucas. “A great honor of learning ‘Return of the Jedi’ has been included in the National Film Registry is knowing the original trilogy of the Star Wars Saga will be preserved in full as nominated by the public, safeguarded as part of our shared American Cinema heritage by our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress, and the National Film Preservation Board.”

The kickoff to another trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring from 2001, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, also earned strong public support.

Also making the list were a pair of animated projects from Disney — the 1932 short film Flowers and Trees, which was the first three-strip Technicolor film shown to the public, and Pixar Animation Studios 2008 CG-animated sci-fi film Wall-E.

Wes Craven’s 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a horror classic, introducing the character of Freddy Krueger, the spirit of a serial killer who haunts children in their dreams.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train tells of two men who hatch a plan to “swap” murders, each killing someone the other knows and, thereby, giving the other an air-tight alibi. Strangers on a Train is the ninth Hitchcock film added to the Registry, following 1940’s Rebecca, 1943’s Shadow of a Doubt, 1946’s Notorious, 1954’s Rear Window, 1958’s Vertigo, 1959’s North by Northwest, 1960’s Psycho and 1963’s The Birds.

The biopic Selena, from 1997, features a breakthrough performance by Jennifer Lopez as Tejana star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, who was shot to death in 1995 at age 23 by the head of her fan club. The film also stars Edward James Olmos as Selena’s father, Abraham.

“It will stand the test of time,” Olmos told the Library. “[It’s] a masterpiece because it allows people to learn about themselves by watching other peoples’ culture.”

Another entry on the 2021 list is Robert Altman’s 1973 detective caper The Long Goodbye, starring Elliott Gould as Raymond Chandler’s iconic depression-era detective Philip Marlowe transplanted into a contemporary Hollywood-infused setting where his moral compass seems anachronistic. Kino Lorber released a new Blu-ray Disc edition of the film Dec. 7.

Other films selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2021 include:

  • Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
  • Jubilo (1919)
  • The Flying Ace (1926)
  • Hellbound Train (1930)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  • Evergreen (1965)
  • Requiem-29 (1970)
  • The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
  • Pink Flamingos (1972)
  • Sounder (1972)
  • Cooley High (1975)
  • Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
  • Chicana (1979)
  • The Wobblies (1979)
  • Stop Making Sense (1984)
  • Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
  • The Watermelon Woman (1996)

 

The selections bring the number of films in the registry to 825, representing a portion of the 1.7 million films in the Library’s collections.

“Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “The Library of Congress will work with our partners in the film community to ensure these films are preserved for generations to come.”

In addition to advising the Librarian of Congress on the annual selection of titles to the National Film Registry, the National Film Preservation Board provides counsel on national preservation planning policy. Many titles named to the registry have already been preserved by the copyright holders, filmmakers or other archives. In cases where a selected title has not already been preserved, the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center works to ensure that the film will be preserved by some entity and available for future generations, either through the Library’s motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The center is located at the Library’s Packard Campus in Culpeper, Va.

Follow us on Instagram!

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will host a television special Friday, Dec. 17, starting at 8 p.m. ET to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry this year. Hayden will join TCM host and film historian Jacqueline Stewart, who is chair of the National Film Preservation Board, to discuss the films. Also, select titles from 30 years of the National Film Registry are freely available online in the National Screening Room.

More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film. Nominations for next year will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2022, at loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/nominate/.

 

‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Grease,’ ‘Shrek’ Join National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden Dec. 14 announced the annual selection of American films to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, this year putting a spotlight on diverse filmmakers.

“The National Film Registry is an important record of American history, culture and creativity, captured through one of the great American artforms, our cinematic experience,” 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.”

Under the National Film Preservation Act, each year the National Film Registry chooses 25 films for preservation due to their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage. This year’s selections include a record number of films directed by women and filmmakers of color, including 10 directed by women and seven by people of color.

Among the class of 2020 are the innovative silent film Suspense, which was co-directed by a woman in 1913; Sidney Poitier’s Oscar-winning performance in 1963’s Lilies of the Field; the 1978 mega-hit musical Grease; 1980’s musical comedy The Blues Brothers; the animated blockbuster Shrek, co-directed by Vicky Jenson in 2001; and one of the biggest public vote getters, director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight.

“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.

Other selections include 1993’s The Joy Luck Club from director Wayne Wang; the atypical war film The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow; Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange; and the 2010 PBS documentary Freedom Riders, which becomes the most-recent film in the registry.

The registry now includes 800 films, a fraction of the 1.3 million films in the Library’s collections. More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film.

 

The Librarian of Congress makes the annual registry selections after conferring with the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) and a cadre of Library specialists. Also considered were more than 5,500 titles nominated by the public. Films must be at least 10 years old. Nominations for next year will be accepted through the fall at loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/nominate/.

In addition to advising the Librarian of Congress on the annual selection of titles to the National Film Registry, the NFPB also provides counsel on national preservation planning policy. Many titles named to the registry have already been preserved by the 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, either through the Library’s motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers.

The Packard Campus is a state-of-the-art facility where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (loc.gov/avconservation/). It is home to more than 8.8 million collection items.

In 2013, the Library of Congress released a report that conclusively determined that 70 percent of the nation’s silent feature films have been lost forever and only 14 percent exist in their original 35 mm format.

 

Films Selected for the 2020 National Film Registry (in chronological order):

  • Suspense (1913)
  • Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)
  • Bread (1918)
  • The Battle of the Century (1927)
  • With Car and Camera Around the World (1929)
  • Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Outrage (1950)
  • The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
  • Lilies of the Field (1963)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
  • Wattstax (1973)
  • Grease (1978)
  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Losing Ground (1982)
  • Illusions (1982)
  • The Joy Luck Club (1993)
  • The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
  • Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
  • The Ground (1993-2001)
  • Shrek (2001)
  • Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • The Hurt Locker (2009)
  • Freedom Riders (2010)

 

‘Cinderella,’ ‘Jurassic Park,’ Among Latest Titles Added to National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden Dec. 12 announced the annual selection of American films to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

“The National Film Registry turns 30 this year and for those three decades, we have been recognizing, celebrating and preserving this distinctive medium,” Hayden said. “These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Each year, the National Film Registry chooses 25 films for preservation due to their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage.

Among the class of 2018 are Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 Best Picture Oscar winner Rebecca; Disney’s 1950 animated classic Cinderella; James L. Brooks’ 1987 treatise on the tumultuous world of television news, Broadcast News; Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of The Shining; the 1964 musical My Fair Lady; and Steven Spielberg’s 1993 sci-fi blockbuster about the rebirth of dinosaurs, Jurassic Park.

In addition, Ang Lee’s 2005 contemporary Western drama Brokeback Mountain becomes the most-recently released film to be added to the registry.

The National Film Registry was created by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, which also created the National Film Preservation Board.

The first Registry list was released in 1989. Films are eligible for consideration 10 years after their release. The oldest film among the 750 now in the Registry is 1891’s Newark Athlete, a 10-second reel of a young athlete swinging Indian clubs, which was inducted in 2010.

Select titles from 30 years of the National Film Registry are available to view for free online in the National Screening Room (https://www.loc.gov/collections/national-screening-room/).

The public is invited to submit nominations for next year’s list at loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/nominate/.

Films Selected for the 2018 National Film Registry (in alphabetical order):

  • Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
  • Broadcast News (1987)
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  • Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency (1908)
  • Eve’s Bayou (1997)
  • The Girl Without a Soul (1917)
  • Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People (1984)
  • Hearts and Minds (1974)
  • Hud (1963)
  • The Informer (1935)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
  • Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
  • Monterey Pop (1968)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • The Navigator (1924)
  • On the Town (1949)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
  • Pickup on South Street (1953)
  • Rebecca (1940)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Smoke Signals (1998)
  • Something Good – Negro Kiss (1898)