This week, Disney’s Mary Poppins joined an illustrious club of cinematic triumphs. The film joined 24 others, including Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, as they were added to the National Film Registry.
One of the greatest features of the world of film is that a movie can tell many more stories than the one contained in the plot. Each adds just a little more to the overall tapestry of life and our collective cultural identity. Some films shine above the rest because they’ve impacted our lives and the way we view things even if we haven’t seen them ourselves. They are essentially time capsules, allowing us a window into the past. These movies aren’t just about us, they are us. This is why the Library of Congress created the National Film Registry.
This week the Library of Congress announced the 25 films that would be added to the Registry this year. They are:
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984)
Brandy in the Wilderness (1969)
Cicero March (1966)
Daughter of Dawn (1920)
Ella Cinders (1926)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
The Hole (1962)
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
The Lunch Date (1989)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Martha Graham Early Dance Films (1931-1944)
Mary Poppins (1964)
Men and Dust (1940)
Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The Quiet Man (1952)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Roger & Me (1989)
A Virtuous Vamp (1919)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
While I won’t even pretend to have seen half of these flicks (to my eternal shame), let me comment on those I have seen. It is surprising to me that Mary Poppins wasn’t already in the Registry. It is just so damned iconic, plus the music is catchy as hell. The same goes for The Magnificent Seven, a classic that really pushed the boundaries of what could be shown in terms of violence at the time. Pulp Fiction makes sense as it is the movie that made Tarantino a household name and spawned a multitude of imitators. That, and the movie is so damn quotable! Finally there is what I consider the odd man out, Roger & Me. I’m not going to get into the character of Michael Moore, but love him or hate him, he has left an undeniable mark on the culture. My only question is why this one was selected over his much more well known later films? In any case, this year’s selections have been preserved in our national film storehouse and they are to be commended for their entry to such a lauded collection.
How many of this year’s entries to the National Film Registry have you seen? Share your thoughts on the list in the comments below!