The Horse’s Head: Class of 2021

It’s time for a rousing chorus of “Yub-Nub“, because here’s the NFR class of 2021! 

This morning, the National Film Registry announced the induction of 25 movies to be added to their list of significant American films. Spanning over 100 years, these films run the gamut from silent treasures, animation, documentaries, Hollywood blockbusters, and indie darlings.

In chronological order, here are this year’s NFR inductees. Entries with a (*) indicate movies that I submitted for consideration this year. Entries with a (+) are movies that I have submitted in previous years.

Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)

Jubilo (1919)

The Flying Ace (1926)

Hellbound Train (1930)

Flowers and Trees (1932)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)*

Evergreen (1965)

Requiem-29 (1970)

The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)

Pink Flamingos (1972)*

Sounder (1972)+

The Long Goodbye (1973)

Cooley High (1975)

Chicana (1979)

Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)

The Wobblies (1979)

Return of the Jedi (1983)*

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Stop Making Sense (1984)

Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Selena (1997)*

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)+

WALL-E (2008)*

For the second year in a row, I have tied my personal record by nominating five of the movies that made this year’s roster. “Selena” was the only one more-or-less guaranteed to make it (Thanks Rep. Castro), and I’m relieved to free up my “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” slot after five years of submissions. And while it will definitely be a while before I have the stomach to watch “Pink Flamingos”, I stand by my choice to nominate the film. Careful what you wish for, I guess.

While this year’s crop of movies don’t feature as many popular crowd-pleasers as years past, it does succeed at being a broad range of films from a diverse array of filmmakers. I also appreciate the NFR’s emphasis on films that cover topics that, while uncomfortable subject matter for the movies, need to be seen and discussed (three of this year’s inductees center around race-related violence towards people of color). I look forward to the inevitable eye-opening experience these films will present me with.

As always, you can nominate your favorites to the National Film Registry, whose 2022 submissions are now open. The NFR website includes a list of movies not yet on the list for easy reference. Meanwhile, the first of the 2021 titles will pop up on this blog next month, so stay tuned.

Happy Viewing,

Tony

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