National Film Registry Adds The Dark Night, Shrek, A Clockwork Orange, Record Number of Films by Women

Grease, The Blues Brothers, and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker are also being enshrined

2020 film registry archive the dark night shrek a clockwork orange hurt locker record number of films by women
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Shrek (DreamWorks), and A Clockwork Orange (Warner Bros.)

    The Library of Congress has announced the next crop of 25 movies admitted into the National Film Registry, as NPR reports. The class of 2020 includes Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece A Clockwork Orange, recent blockbusters The Dark Knight and Shrekand a record number of films made by women.

    As with last year’s list, there are several films that are so obviously classics, it’s a surprise they haven’t been added already. The unsinkable 1978 musical Grease fits that description, as does the Charlie Chaplin flick Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), Wim Wender’s 1999 documentary about Cuban musicians, The Buena Vista Social Club, and, if you’re of a certain generation, The Blues Brothers (1980).

    While American cinema is still miles away from gender parity, the LoC has added nine films by women to this year’s last, the most since the registry began in 1989, and topping last year’s previous record of seven. This year’s group is headlined by Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008). Bigelow is no stranger to breaking ground for female filmmakers, and to this day her Best Director win for The Hurt Locker is the only such recognition for a woman.


    The others to bust into the boy’s club are Ida May Park’s Bread (1918); 1929’s With Car and Camera Around the World, which was co-directed by Aloha Wanderwel; Ida Lupino’s 1950 film Outrage; 1982’s Losing Ground and Illusions, which were directed by the Black filmmakers Kathleen Collins and Julie Dash, respectively; Lourdes Portillo’s The Devil Never Sleeps (1994); and 2006’s Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege co-directed by Joan Lander.

    The Registry is also continuing to belatedly recognize contributions from directors of color. In addition to those mentioned above, the class of 2020 includes Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club (1993), based on Amy Tan’s classic 1989 novel, and Melvin Van Peebles’ blaxpolitation epic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971).

    In a statement, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden explained the Library’s attempts to “set the record straight” about often-overlooked groups of filmmakers. She wrote,

    “The National Film Registry is an important record of American history, culture and creativity, captured through one of the great American artforms, our cinematic experience. With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles.”


    Check out all 25 films in chronological order below, and peruse the full list at the LIbrary’s website.

    01. Suspense (1913)
    02. Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)
    03. Bread (1918)
    04. The Battle of the Century (1927)
    05. With Car and Camera Around the World (1929)
    06. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
    07. Outrage (1950)
    08. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
    09. Lilies of the Field (1963)
    10. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    11. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
    12. Wattstax (1973)
    13. Grease (1978)
    14. The Blues Brothers (1980)
    15. Losing Ground (1982)
    16. Illusions (1982)
    17. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
    18. The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
    19. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
    20. The Ground (1993-2001)
    21. Shrek (2001)
    22. Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
    23. The Hurt Locker (2008)
    24. The Dark Knight (2008)
    25. Freedom Riders (2010)

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