The Library of Congress has revealed the 25 movies that will be preserved as part of the National Film Registry for 2019. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden revealed this year's selections, including seven titles directed by women, which is an unparalleled number. Some of the other key additions this year include Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It and Kevin Smith's directorial debut Clerks.
This year's Library of Congress selections directed by women include Kimberly Peirce's Oscar-winning Boys Don't Cry, Greta Schiller's documentary Before Stonewall, Claudia Weill's Girlfriends, Gunvor Nelson's My Name Is Oona, Elaine May's A New Leaf, Patricia Cardoso's Real Women Have Curves and Madeline Anderson's I Am Somebody. 1971's A New Leaf is important, as May became the first woman to write, direct and star in a major feature released by an American studio. I Am Somebody also has a great deal of cultural significance, as it's the first documentary on the subject of civil rights directed by a woman of color.
Per the National Film Registry, these movies were selected 'because of their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation's film heritage.' With this year's new additions, the number of movies now preserved by the Library of Congress is up to 775. Carla Hayden had this to say in a statement.'The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity. Unlike many other honors, the registry is not restricted to a time, place or genre. It encompasses 130 years of the full American cinematic experience, a virtual Olympiad of motion pictures. With the support of Congress, the studios and other archives, we are ensuring that the nation's cinematic history will be around for generations to come.'
The most recent entry on the list is 2003's Fog of War, a political documentary centered on Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The oldest entry is 1903's Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island, which contains footage of people arriving at the iconic location in New York. Kevin Smith's 1994 indie Clerks received the most public votes. Smith, taking to Twitter, shared his appreciation for being included as part of this year's additions.'I am overwhelmed! Thank you for acknowledging our little Jersey paean to working hard at not working at all. You took the only magic trick I've ever pulled off and legitimized it, placing Clerks into legendary company! SO glad I've always paid my taxes! Thanks to all who voted!'
Disney's animated classic Sleeping Beauty is also being added this year, as is Oliver Stone's war classic Platoon. The Prince biopic/musical Purple Rain, released in 1984, will also be preserved for its historic significance. Be sure to check out the full list of 2019 National Film Registry additions from the official Library of Congress website below.2019 National Film Registry Additions• Amadeus 1984•Becky Sharp 1935•Before Stonewall...
We, as a culture, are trained to poke holes in a woman’s story, to sympathize with the monster in the scenario, rather than the victim. Knowing this, director Leigh Whannell uses the vehicle of horror cinema to Trojan horse a moral lesson into a fun Blumhouse thriller. His latest film, The Invisible Man, an Elisabeth Moss-led Universal Monster reboot in which an ex-lover stalks his old beau by hiding in plain sight, is another way of relaying the fear traumatized women feel when formerly safe spaces become violated. It is somehow both edge-of-your-seat excitement and razor sharp metaphorical commentary – a brilliant new take on an old classic.
The director sat down with us to talk about gaslighting, politics, exes, building a beautiful prison, The Munsters, paranoid thrillers, abusive relationships, and the way in which Whannell weaponizes empty spaces to keep the audience off-kilter.
I think what’s so brilliant about your take is the change in tone. Dr. Griffin has always been an egomaniac, but in the past, it was played for laughs. What made you want to take a more grounded approach?
I thought that was the best way to do it in a modern context. I didn’t want to make anything retro. I didn’t want the fog machine, wolves baying at the moon version of the film. I feel like some of these iconic monsters, they’ve been represented in such a Transylvanian context for so long that it’s become safe. I mean, kids movies feature these monsters now. Animated movies will have Dracula. When I think of Frankenstein, the first image that pops up for me is The Munsters. You know? I think that can happen when an iconic villain becomes really cemented in the popular consciousness. Think about the first time you saw A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original, how much it scared you and then – you probably weren’t born when that came out, but that’s fine – but then as the sequels came out, there was this diminishing returns where he became almost a comedic character. We were just seeing too much of him.
Any time you pull the curtain back and see too much of a villain, I believe it dilutes their power to affect you. Villains need to be mysterious to be threatening, so with this movie I knew I had to shake off the cobwebs – literally and figuratively – and bring this character into a super modern context where the audience could see themselves in a movie. Like, oh, this could happen, this could happen tomorrow. So that was the goal.
I love how bold of a breakaway your interpretation is from the H. G. Wells original narrative. I really love that it’s not told from the POV of the Invisible Man himself, but that it’s told from the POV of the victim of science’s snags and failed experiments. How did you go about crafting this fresh perspective?
Well it came very early on, because it...