comScore Paris Is Burning and More Added to National Film Registry | The Mary Sue
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Paris Is Burning, The Lion King, The Breakfast Club and More Entering the National Film Registry This Year

For those of us who have a hard time picking our top three movies of all time, imagine how difficult it must be for the National Film Registry to decide which movies are significant enough to be permanently preserved. This year’s class of inductees includes Paris is Burning, The Breakfast Club, Funny Girl, The Lion King, The Princess Bride, Rushmore, Thelma and Louise, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. You can see the full list here.

While most of these are great fictional pieces, Paris is Burning stands out because of its impact as a subversive documentary on New York’s ballroom subculture during the ’80s. Viewers are exposed to the real stories of NYC’s marginalized community made up of black and latino gay men as well as drag queens and trans women. It also shows where the art of vogueing came from, and that it was pioneers like Willi Ninja who were doing it way before Madonna showed up in her cone-shaped bras. The film is available now on Amazon, Google Play, Netflix and other on-demand services.

As for the National Film Registry’s film selection, here’s how the process works: Each year, 25 films “showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage” are selected to increase awareness for preservation. The board sends their suggestions to the Library of Congress and then advise on how to implement their preservation plan. Films are chosen after sifting through hundreds of interviews and comprehensive library research, as well as “public testimony and written statements from over 100 organizations and individuals.”

Even if a film doesn’t make it on the list one year, it can still be picked for another year. Unfortunately, however, votes from previous years don’t carry over. You can get involved by heading here to nominate no more than 50 films. They just need to be at least a decade old and have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance. So, maybe don’t add Ernest Goes to School to that list.

Which films would you nominate?

(via Playlist, image via screencap)

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