LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – This year’s additions to the National Film Registry veer into the edgier side of popular cinema with such selections as “Boys Don’t Cry,” “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Clerks.”
A place on the Library of Congress list — always made up of 25 films — guarantees the film will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act. The criteria for selection is that the movies are “culturally, historically or esthetically” significant.
This selections bring the number of films in the registry to 775.
Seven of this year’s selections are directed by women:
- Kimberly Peirce’s 1999 drama “Boys Don’t Cry”;
- The 1984 documentary “Before Stonewall,” directed by Greta Schiller;
- Claudia Weill’s 1978 “Girlfriends”;
- Gunvor Nelson’s 1969 avant-garde film “My Name is Oona”;
- Madeline Anderson’s 1970 “I Am Somebody,” considered the first documentary on civil rights directed by a woman of color;
- “A New Leaf,” which in 1971 made Elaine May the first woman to write, direct and star in a major American studio feature;
- The 2002 indie “Real Women Have Curves,” directed by Patricia Cardoso and starring America Ferrera.
Peirce said she still considers it a “miracle” that “Boys Don’t Cry” was made. Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her portrayal of Brandon Teena.
“I fell in love with Brandon Teena and his desire to live and love as himself in a time and place where that was impossible,” Peirce said. “I felt a powerful conviction to bring Brandon to life on screen, so audiences would love him as I did and share my horror at his rape and murder. To our amazement, the world embraced Brandon. It is meaningful to me as a filmmaker, genderqueer and person that the Library of Congress has recognized ‘Boys Don’t Cry.’ This moment is a culmination; unimaginable and wonderful.”
“Clerks” is one of the lowest-budget films in modern times on the list. It was shot for $27,575 in the convenience and video stores where director Kevin Smith worked in real life. Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” was completed in dozen days in 1985 on a budget of $175,000.
- Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island (1903)
- Body and Soul (1925). Paul Robeson plays a dual role in movie by pioneering African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.
- Employees Entrance (1933)
- Becky Sharp (1935). Early Technicolor movie based on Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair.”
- George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute (1937)
- Gaslight (1944)
- The Phenix City Story (1955. Film noir based on a real-life Alabama murder.
- Old Yeller (1957)
- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- My Name Is Oona (1969)
- I Am Somebody (1970)
- A New Leaf (1971)
- Girlfriends (1978)
- The Last Waltz (1978). The epic 1976 Thanksgiving farewell concert by The Band at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.
- Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
- Zoot Suit (1981)
- Amadeus (1984)
- Before Stonewall (1984)
- Purple Rain (1984)
- Platoon (1986)
- She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
- Clerks (1994)
- Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
- Real Women Have Curves (2002)
- Fog of War (2003). Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris interrogates Robert McNamara.