Yesterday the Library of Congress named its 2009 selections to the National Film Registry, America's official record of films deemed worthy, in the words of the Registry, of being “preserved as cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures for generations to come.” Included on the list is Michael Jackson's classic 1983 music video for “Thriller.” The 14-minute short, directed by John Landis, joins 24 other films — The Muppet Movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Story of G.I. Joe, Pillow Talk, Dog Day Afternoon, and others — officially logged as classics.
Though we don't need a government board to tell us what is worthy — 1,500 Filipino inmates can't be wrong — it's nice that the classic “Thriller” clip will be archived alongside such other music/film collaborations like Koyaanisqatsi, All That Jazz and Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse in the archive.
The entire list after the jump, along with other music/film classics from the National Film Registry.
Equally exciting is that Winsor McCay's transcendent (though definitely “of its time,” racial-stereotype-wise) Little Nemo from 1911 is finally in.
The National Film Registry's 2009 Inductees:
1) Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
2) The Exiles (1961)
3) Heroes All (1920)
4) Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972)
5) The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
6) Jezebel (1938)
7) The Jungle (1967)
8) The Lead Shoes (1949)
9) Little Nemo (1911)
10) Mabel's Blunder (1914)
11) The Mark of Zorro (1940)
12) Mrs. Miniver (1942)
13) The Muppet Movie (1979)
14) Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
15) Pillow Talk (1959)
16) Precious Images (1986)
18) The Red Book (1994)
19) The Revenge of Pancho Villa (1930-36)
20) Scratch and Crow (1995)
21) Stark Love (1927)
22) The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
23) A Study in Reds (1932)
24) Thriller (1983)
25) Under Western Stars (1938)
Below are a few other classic music/film collaborations in the Registry, along with YouTube highlights from this year's list.
Though Thriller has been called the first music video to enter the Registry, we'd offer that Koyaanisqatsi, the Philip Glass/Godfrey Reggio/Ron Fricke collaboration, is the first (and best).
Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, from 1927, inducted in 1996
All That Jazz, Bob Fosse's 1979 film, deemed by the U.S. Congress to be notable in 2001.
Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon has some of strangest and most surreal use of sound of any film in history. The music, by Japanese composer Teiji Ito, was added to the film by director Deren in 1959.
#22 this year: Story of G.I. Joe
Chevrolet's “Master Hands” from 1936, a classic early commercial documentary, was inducted in 1999.
Midnight Cowboy, featuring an amazing soundtrack, named into the books in 1994.
The Music Box. External shots of Laurel and Hardy trying to get that damned piano up the stairs were filmed in Silver Lake.
Robert Altman's Nashville, about the country music industry.
Trailer for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, inducted in 2005.
(UPDATED side note: It's probably safe to say that the recent Spike Lee/Michael Jackson collaboration won't be entered into the archive in the next few millennia.