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Home Alone, 12 Years a Slave and More Joining National Film Registry

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The Library of Congress announced the 25 features joining the National Film Registry for 2023, with titles including “12 Years a Slave,” “Home Alone,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Selected films must be more than 10 years old and are selected each year for their cultural, historic or aesthetic significance to preserve the film heritage of the U.S.

The Library of Congress is not responsible for the physical preservation of the titles selected — many have already been preserved by copyright holders, filmmakers or other archives. For those that haven’t yet been preserved, the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center works to make sure it will be — through ventures with other archives or studios or through its own preservation program.

The selected films encompass more than 100 years of history, including the earliest title of this year’s additions — the 1921 educational film “A Movie Trip Through Filmland.”

Hollywood studio and independent titles include “Apollo 13” from Ron Howard, animated classic “Lady and the Tramp,” Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” Alan Parker’s “Fame,” Susan Seidelman’s “Desperately Seeking Susan,” John Sayles’ “Matewan” and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love and Basketball.” Documentaries selected include the Oscar-winning films “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision.”

The National Film Registry, which began recommending movies for preservation in 1989, now numbers 875 titles.

“Films are an integral piece of America’s cultural heritage, reflecting stories of our nation for more than 125 years. We are proud to add 25 diverse films to the National Film Registry as we preserve our history through film,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We’re grateful to the film community for collaborating with the Library of Congress in our goal to preserve the heritage of cinema for generations to come.”

On Thursday, Turner Classic Movies will host a television special, screening a selection of this year’s films with Hayden and TCM host, film historian and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures director and president Jacqueline Stewart, who is also chair of the National Film Preservation Board. Stewart said this year’s selections highlight the “breadth of experiences in American culture, in American history.”

“I’m delighted to see several films this year that recognize a diversity of Asian American experiences,” she said. “There’s ‘Cruisin’ J-Town,’ a film about jazz musicians in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo community, specifically the band Hiroshima. There’s also the Bohulano Family Film collection, home movies from the 1950s-1970s shot by a family in Stockton, California’s Filipino community. Also added is the documentary, ‘Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision,’ about one of our most important contemporary artists who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.”

These are the 25 films in chronological order:

  • A Movie Trip Through Filmland (1921)
  • Dinner at Eight (1933)
  • Bohulano Family Film Collection (1950s-1970s)
  • Helen Keller: In Her Story (1954)
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  • Edge of the City (1957)
  • We’re Alive (1974)
  • Cruisin’ J-Town (1975)
  • ¡Alambrista! (1977)
  • Passing Through (1977)
  • Fame (1980)
  • Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
  • The Lighted Field (1987)
  • Matewan (1987)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • Queen of Diamonds (1991)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • The Wedding Banquet (1993)
  • Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994)
  • Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Bamboozled (2000)
  • Love & Basketball (2000)
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013)
  • 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

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