Here Are This Year’s National Film Registry Picks, Including ‘Paris is Burning,’ ‘The Breakfast Club,’ and ‘Thelma and Louise’


On Wednesday, Variety reports, the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress announced 25 new titles to add to its collection of 700 films — including this year’s selections, among them The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride, and Thelma & Louise.

Each year, 25 new films are chosen for inclusion in the registry, which began with the establishment of the National Film Preservation Board in 1988 (thanks, Reagan!). To be eligible, films must be at least ten years old, produced or co-produced by an American film company, and be considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significant. Fewer than 50 of the 700 films were directed by women, for the record; this year only three women directors made the list (Jennie Livingston, Camille Billops, and Penelope Spheeris), and all three of their chosen films are documentaries.

This year’s crop gives some much-deserved recognition to cult classics like Paris is Burning , Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary about New York City’s ball culture, the 1981 L.A. punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, directed by Penelope Spheeris, and Wes Anderson’s 1998 comedy Rushmore — the most recent movie on this year’s list, although not on the registry as a whole; that distinction goes to James Benning’s 13 Lakes, from 2004. Also chosen this year is Putney Swope, a 1969 satirical comedy written and directed by Robert Downey Sr. that many contemporary comedians, including Louis C.K., have cited as a major influence.

Check out the complete list of films below, and remember — if you’re unhappy with this year’s picks the public is encouraged to participate in the nominating process. You can nominate up to 50 films per year, through this online form.

The Atomic Café (1982)

Ball of Fire (1941)

The Beau Brummels (1928)

The Birds (1963)

Blackboard Jungle (1955)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

East of Eden (1955)

Funny Girl (1968)

Life of an American Fireman (1903)

The Lion King (1994)

Lost Horizon (1937)

Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)

Paris Is Burning (1990)

Point Blank (1967)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Putney Swope (1969 )

Reverend Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)

Rushmore (1998)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)

A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)