National Film Registry
Credit: Bill Mattlock/Fox Searchlight; Everett Collection (2)


The Library of Congress made its latest picks to add to the National Film Registry to be preserved for all time. This year, among those 25 entrees selected for their "cultural, historic, and aesthetic importance to the nation's film heritage" are 1999's Boys Don't Cry, 1984's Purple Rain, 1986's She's Gotta Have It, 1994's Clerks, and Disney's 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Significant to this year's batch are the number of films selected from female directors: seven. It may not seem like much — and it's not, it's just over a quarter of the entrees — but it nevertheless marks the most in a single year for the Registry since it began in 1989.

Those seven films include Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, Greta Schiller's 1984 documentary Before Stonewall, Claudia Weill's 1978 film Girlfriends, Gunvor Nelson's 1969 avant-garde film My Name is Oona, Elaine May's 1971 film A New Leaf (May became the first woman to write, direct, and star in a major American studio feature with this work), Patricia Cardoso's 2002 indie Real Women Have Curves, Madeline Anderson's 1970 documentary I Am Somebody (considered the first documentary on civil rights directed by a woman of color).

Just this week, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association released its annual list of nominees for the Golden Globes and, once again, the best director category was void of women in a year that had buzz for female filmmakers. Only five women have been nominated in the category in the history of the awards and only Barbra Streisand actually won best director.

"Twenty years later, it still feels like a miracle that Boys Don't Cry got made," Peirce said in a statement as her movie entered the National Film Registry. "I fell in love with Brandon Teena and his desire to live and love as himself in a time and place where that was impossible. I felt a powerful conviction to bring Brandon to life on screen, so audiences would love him as I did and share my horror at his rape and murder. To our amazement, the world embraced Brandon. It is meaningful to me as a filmmaker, a genderqueer, and as a person that the Library of Congress has recognized Boys Don't Cry. This moment is a culmination, unimaginable and wonderful."

See the full list of selections below.

Amadeus (1984)

Becky Sharp (1935)

Before Stonewall (1984)

Body and Soul (1925)

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Clerks (1994)

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island (1903)

Employees Entrance (1933)

Fog of War (2003)

Gaslight (1944)

George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute (1937)

Girlfriends (1978)

I Am Somebody (1970)

Last Waltz, The (1978)

My Name Is Oona (1969)

A New Leaf (1971)

Old Yeller (1957)

The Phenix City Story (1955)

Platoon (1986)

Purple Rain (1984)

Real Women Have Curves (2002)

She's Gotta Have It (1986)

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Zoot Suit (1981)

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