The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has selected a new crop of movies that it deems culturally, historically or aesthetically significant enough for preservation. Among the 25 films selected are two cult-favorite slacker adventure epics: the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski and John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The Library praised the “highly quoted” Lebowski’s themes of “alienation, inequality and class structure” and for positioning star Jeff Bridges in a career-defining role, and it described Hughes’ first film on the registry as a “career highpoint” significant for its depiction of “late-20th century youth.”
Other noteworthy movies include Steven Spielberg’s war film Saving Private Ryan, Roman Polanski’s horror Rosemary’s Baby, Mel Stuart’s beloved fantasy Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Arthur Penn’s Western drama Little Big Man. The new additions bring the number of motion pictures the Film Registry recognizes, which span the years 1913 to 2004, up to 650. The full selection of movies is viewable here.
“The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant,” James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, said in a statement. “By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.”
In addition to the movies’ cultural significance or otherwise, the film must be at least 10 years old to qualify for inclusion into the registry. The Librarian of Congress decides the titles each year after reviewing nominations from the public, Library film curators and the National Film Preservation Board. The public can vote on next year’s additions on the Library of Congress website.