Every year since 1989 the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry has selected twenty-five short films and full-length features to be recognized, in the words of the librarian of Congress James H. Billington, as “cultural, historical, or aesthetic cinematic treasures.” From Citizen Kane and Star Wars to Woodstock and This is Spinal Tap, each year’s list contains some of the most beloved and significant films ever made, and now the Dude and Ferris Bueller get to join their ranks.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 comic thriller The Big Lebowski, which has become a certified cult classic in the sixteen years since its theatrical, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning World War II drama Saving Private Ryan, and John Hughes’ endlessly quotable high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are among this year’s additions to the National Film Registry, bringing the total amount of films in the Registry to 650.
Under the National Film Reservation Act which was first passed into law in 1988 the librarian of Congress may select films that are at least ten years old. Those films selected are then preserved for all time by the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia, though collaborations with movie studios and filmmakers passionate about the need for film preservation are often utilized.
In a statement, Billington said:
“The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant. By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.”
Other titles added to the National Film Registry that should be of the greatest interest to readers include Roman Polanski’s unnerving horror classic Rosemary’s Baby, the original House of Wax starring Vincent Price, the masterful Howard Hawks western (and Quentin Tarantino favorite) Rio Bravo, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The 1986 Pixar short Luxo Jr., the first CGI-animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award, was also added, as well as the 1947 stop-motion animated short The Way of Peace.
As the Dude himself would say, “Far out, man.” You can read the full list of this year’s additions to the National Film Registry here.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]