The Library of Congress has revealed the 25 movies that will be preserved as part of the National Film Registry for 2019. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden revealed this year's selections, including seven titles directed by women, which is an unparalleled number. Some of the other key additions this year include Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It and Kevin Smith's directorial debut Clerks.
This year's Library of Congress selections directed by women include Kimberly Peirce's Oscar-winning Boys Don't Cry, Greta Schiller's documentary Before Stonewall, Claudia Weill's Girlfriends, Gunvor Nelson's My Name Is Oona, Elaine May's A New Leaf, Patricia Cardoso's Real Women Have Curves and Madeline Anderson's I Am Somebody. 1971's A New Leaf is important, as May became the first woman to write, direct and star in a major feature released by an American studio. I Am Somebody also has a great deal of cultural significance, as it's the first documentary on the subject of civil rights directed by a woman of color.
Per the National Film Registry, these movies were selected "because of their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation's film heritage." With this year's new additions, the number of movies now preserved by the Library of Congress is up to 775. Carla Hayden had this to say in a statement.
"The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity. Unlike many other honors, the registry is not restricted to a time, place or genre. It encompasses 130 years of the full American cinematic experience, a virtual Olympiad of motion pictures. With the support of Congress, the studios and other archives, we are ensuring that the nation's cinematic history will be around for generations to come."
The most recent entry on the list is 2003's Fog of War, a political documentary centered on Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The oldest entry is 1903's Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island, which contains footage of people arriving at the iconic location in New York. Kevin Smith's 1994 indie Clerks received the most public votes. Smith, taking to Twitter, shared his appreciation for being included as part of this year's additions.
"I am overwhelmed! Thank you for acknowledging our little Jersey paean to working hard at not working at all. You took the only magic trick I've ever pulled off and legitimized it, placing Clerks into legendary company! SO glad I've always paid my taxes! (Thanks to all who voted!)"
Disney's animated classic Sleeping Beauty is also being added this year, as is Oliver Stone's war classic Platoon. The Prince biopic/musical Purple Rain, released in 1984, will also be preserved for its historic significance. Be sure to check out the full list of 2019 National Film Registry additions from the official Library of Congress website below.
- 2019 National Film Registry Additions
- Amadeus (1984)
- Becky Sharp (1935)
- Before Stonewall (1984)
- Body And Soul (1925)
- Boys Don't Cry (1999)
- Clerks (1994)
- Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
- Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island (1903)
- Employees Entrance (1933)
- Fog Of War (2003)
- Gaslight (1944)
- George Washington Carver At Tuskegee Institute (1937)
- Girlfriends (1978)
- 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)
- Platoon (1986)
- Purple Rain (1984)
- Real Women Have Curves (2002)
- She's Gotta Have It (1986)
- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Zoot Suit (1981)