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Library of Congress Adds 'Lord of the Rings', Freddy Krueger & Others to National Film Registry

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The Lord of the Rings - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.12.2021
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Every year in December, the US Library of Congress selects 25 movies, which could include full-length narrative movies, short films, cartoons and documentaries, to create an ongoing list of the most culturally, aesthetically and historically significant films in American history. Once chosen, they’re preserved under the National Film Registry.
This year’s selections include everything from beloved blockbuster films to more obscure, but nevertheless significant picks from throughout the 20th century and beyond.
One of the more popular selections this year was 2001’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” director Peter Jackson’s epic big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s first novel in his legendary “Lord of the Rings'' trilogy.
The film sees hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) learn that he possesses the evil One Ring belonging to the dark lord Sauron, and the beginning of his quest to travel to the land of Mordor to destroy it, along with unforgettable characters like the mighty wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), exiled royal heir and master warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), and his faithful fellow hobbit friends Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Pippin Took (Billy Boyd), and Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan).
Also included is 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” the last installment of the original “Star Wars” trilogy in which Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is forced to conclusively confront his father Darth Vader, all the while Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) maneuver to destroy the threatening new Death Star. They are also forced to deal with strange alien creatures from a galaxy far, far away, such as the gangster space slug Jabba the Hutt and the adorable teddy bear-like creatures known as Ewoks.
The CGI-animated Pixar film “WALL-E” (2008), about a lonely garbage-collecting robot left on an abandoned Earth, also made it on. It is only the second movie from Pixar to ever make it on after their first full-length production, “Toy Story” (1995).
In a major milestone for horror cinema, slasher icon Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has made it on for his frightening debut in 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where he haunts the dreams of teenagers played by Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp.
Also selected were concert films, such as one featuring celebrated stand-up comic Richard Pryor, as well as “Stop Making Sense” (1984), which features a performance by the rock ‘n roll band the Talking Heads and was directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme. “Selena,” a 1997 biopic of the late Tejano music singer/songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Pérez starring Jennifer Lopez in the title role, was also added.
Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden praised the selections in a YouTube video released by the Library, which featured snippets from several of the people involved in the selected movies, including Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.
As of today, the National Film Registry includes 825 films, with the oldest entry in this year’s selection being a 3-minute recording of a circus parade in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1902.
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