Screenshot of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 cult hit “Pulp Fiction.”
From silent films to sci-fi flicks, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress contains hundreds of motion pictures that span more than a century of American cinematic achievement. On Wednesday the Library announced that it would be adding 25 more films to that collection, including popular movies like the musical “Mary Poppins” and the crime thriller “Pulp Fiction,” bringing the total number of films in the registry to 625.
Hollywood blockbusters like “Forrest Gump” and “Star Wars” are included in the registry, as are many lesser known or independent movies. One such film added for 2013 is “Decasia”, an experimental piece by artist Bill Morison that compiles found footage from old, decaying film stock. “Decasia” is also the most modern film to be added to the registry — movies will only be considered for inclusion and preservation if they are at least a decade old.
The oldest title included in the 2013 edition is “A Virtuous Vamp”, a 1919 film about a young woman whose flirtations prove distracting to her busy male office collegues (except, of course, to the one she’s interested in).
Once the films are selected for the registry, the Library of Congress works to preserve the films, either through the Library’s own program or through collaboration with other programs, studios, and filmmakers.
But before preservation comes the process of selection, with winners hand-picked by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington from thousands of online suggestions. He views this task as vital to keeping American film culture alive.
“The National Film Registry stands among the finest summations of more than a century of extraordinary cinema,” Billington told the LA Times. “This key component of American cultural history, however, is endangered, so we must protect the nation’s matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity.”
You can check out the complete list of the films selected for the registry. Were any of your favorites included or snubbed? Let us know in the comments below.