The Library of Congress recently released the list of 25 films it adds yearly to the National Film Registry, Deadline reported. The movies selected annually are considered to be culturally, historically or aesthetically important enough to be preserved as part of the nation’s film heritage.

This year the films included are Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 (1995), Alan Parker’s Fame (1980), Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Bastketball (2000), Chris Columbus’ Home Alone (1990), Lady and the Tramp (1955), James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet (1993), and Steve McQueen’s Academy Award winner 12 Years a Slave (2013).

Library of Congress and the National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the list today and said that the selection goes back more than a century to the oldest film in the list, a 1921 Kodak education film A Movie Trip Through Filmland. It shows the process of producing motion picture film stock and how movies impact a global audience. With the 25 films added this year, the National Film Registry now has 875 movies on the list.

The directors and their films

Howard commented on his movie’s inclusion on the list, “It’s a very honest, heartfelt reflection of something that was very American, which was the space program in that time and what it meant to the country and to the world… I was very proud of the outcome. The experience remains an absolute highlight. It was one of those experiences that none of us involved in will ever forget.”

For Love & Basketball, Prince-Bythewood said, “A great deal of this film was autobiographical. Monica’s character, growing up as an athlete, all the feelings she felt, feeling ‘othered’ and different as if something’s wrong with her because she loves sports. All those were things that I had to deal with growing up, being a female athlete and with my parents.”

McQueen gave a shout out to this movie’s protagonist, Solomon Northrup, and called him a hero. “Slavery for me was a subject matter that hadn’t been sort of given enough recognition within the narrative of cinema history. I wanted to address it for that reason, but also because it was a subject which had so much to do with how we live now. It wasn’t just something which was dated. It was something which is living and breathing, because you see the evidence of slavery today.”

Ang Lee said that he didn’t make The Wedding Banquet so it could be deemed influential, “But it was. I see since the movie, whether it’s cross-culture or gay issues, some major breakthroughs, certainly in Taiwan and the Chinese community because the movie was well-liked. It just eased into people’s lives quite naturally.”

Spike Lee talked about Bamboozled’s inclusion and said, “One of the most powerful sequences I think I’ve done is the closing scenes of Bamboozled, where we show historically, visually, the hatefulness of white people in blackface.”

The 2023 List: The National Film Registry and Diversity

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures director and president and chair of the National Film Preservation Board Jacqueline Stewart said, “I’m delighted to see several films this year that recognize a diversity of Asian American experiences. 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.”

Turner Classic Movies will screen a selection of the films on the list on Thursday, Dec. 14, starting 8 p.m. ET.

Here are the films selected to the National Film Registry 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)