Wes Anderson’s Rushmore leads The National Film Registry’s 2016 inductees

Other inductees include The Breakfast Club, The Birds, and Thelma and Louise

The National Film Registry strives to highlight “the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.” Up to 25 movies are added to the registry’s 700+ list each year, and 2016’s inductees include several cult and mainstream favorites, the most notable of which being Wes Anderson’s seminal, career-defining coming-of-age movie Rushmore.

Released in 1998, Rushmore is the youngest film among this year’s inductees (the only feature fiction film in the registry more recent is The Matrix, which was inducted in 2012). While some might find it’s inclusion premature, Rushmore deserves the nod for numerous reasons.

For one, it served as a thesis statement for Anderson himself, a major American filmmaker whose visual storytelling and mastery of tone has both captured the zeitgeist and had a seismic influence on both mainstream and cult filmmaking. The film also reinvigorated the career of Bill Murray, whose subdued, nuanced approach to drama also had an impact on performance and iconography in 21st century filmmaking.

That’s not to say Rushmore is the only movie that matters on the list. Other inductees include John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, Disney’s The Lion King, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. As always, the registry encompasses several decades, styles, and approaches to filmmaking. 1903’s Life of an American Fireman was included, as was Penelope Spheeris’ multi-part The Decline of Western Civilization documentary series.

Check out the National Film Registry’s Class of 2016 below:

The Atomic Café

Ball of Fire

The Beau Brummels

The Birds

Blackboard Jungle

The Breakfast Club

The Decline of Western Civilization

East of Eden

Funny Girl

Life of an American Fireman

The Lion King

Lost Horizon

Musketeers of Pig Alley

Paris Is Burning

Point Blank

The Princess Bride

Putney Swope

Reverend Solomon Sir Jones films


Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Suzanne, Suzanne

Thelma & Louise

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

A Walk in the Sun

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  


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