Founded in 1988 by way of the National Film Preservation Act, the National Film Registry acts as a part of the United States National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) in its selection of the major motion pictures to be included for preservation in the Library of Congress. Over the years, the organization has been reauthorized by several subsequent acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and 2008, with the 1996 ruling creating the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation – an affiliate of the NFPB that raises money through the private sector.
Over the years, the National Film Registry has undertaken the task of making sure that some of the best films of all time are preserved in such a condition so that future citizens can easily access their contents into perpetuity. From classic productions of the 1940s like Casablanca and Citizen Kane, to contemporary masterpieces like Annie Hall and Apocalypse Now, the National Film Registry includes quite the collection of motion pictures reflecting the tastes of all kinds of viewers. A whole new class of movies have now made their way into the archives housed by the Library of Congress.
According to Deadline, the Library of Congress has just announced its official selection of 25 films released between 1903 and 1998 to be included in the National Film Registry for 2016; including such 1980s and ’90s films as The Lion King, The Princess Bride, and Thelma & Louise. The full list consists of productions of a wide variety, including blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, shorts, indies, and experimental films. The entire list was curated by Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, who had the following to say in regards to the selection process:
“Motion pictures document our history and culture and serve as a mirror of our collective experiences. The National Film Registry embraces the richness and diversity of film as an art form and celebrates the people who create the magic of cinema.”
Fans of John Hughes will likely take note of the fact that his seminal high school drama The Breakfast Club was included this year, in addition to the family film classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Wes Anderson directed cult-classic Rushmore. In addition, film historians will take note of several classic motion picture productions, especially East of Eden and The Birds.
Perusing this year’s list of selections for the National Film Registry might just encourage a few cinephiles to consider taking a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC to take a look at the extensive archives for themselves. Movies like The Lion King and The Princess Bride are probably among the most widely seen movies to be included this year, but that doesn’t mean that the other selections aren’t worth checking out either – as the larger mission of the NFPB has always been to preserve and maintain the entire history of American film for the continuing cultural education of the public at large.