The Horse’s Head: Class of 2020

Finally, some good news for 2020. My favorite national film archive hit a milestone today when the National Film Registry added 25 films to their roster, bringing the Registry’s total to 800 movies! Below is the list of the groundbreaking films in chronological order. Any film with a * denotes a movie I submitted for consideration this year, any with a + are movies I have submitted in previous years.

  • Suspense (1913)
  • Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)
  • Bread (1918)
  • The Battle of the Century (1927)
  • With Car and Camera Around the World (1929)
  • Cabin in the Sky (1943)*
  • Outrage (1950)
  • The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
  • Lilies of the Field (1963)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)*
  • Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
  • Wattstax (1973)
  • Grease (1978)*
  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Losing Ground (1982)
  • Illusions (1982)
  • The Joy Luck Club (1993)*
  • The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
  • Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
  • The Ground (1993-2001)
  • Shrek (2001)+
  • Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)+
  • The Hurt Locker (2008)*
  • Freedom Riders (2010)

The official press release is quick to point out that nine of these films are directed by women, and seven by people of color, a record in both categories for a single NFR year, and a trend I suspect will continue in the years to come.

I achieved a personal best this year when FIVE of the movies I submitted made the cut (at long last I can free up my “Grease” and “A Clockwork Orange” spaces). As always, this list of 25 is a good mix of undisputed classics and undiscovered treasures. I look forward to covering each of these in the future.

The first “Horse’s Head” write-up on one of these movies will appear in January. Until then, stay safe, take care of each other, and happy viewing.


P.S. Sorry “Back to the Future” fans, the sequels didn’t make the cut. Better luck next time you all remember the NFR is a thing.

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