Every year, the National Film Registry of the Library Of Congress selects a new crop of historically significant films for induction. The 2021 class has been revealed and it features work by some familiar figures in the music world, including David Byrne, Jennifer Lopez, and Ray Manzarek of The Doors.
Inducted is Talking Heads’ iconic 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, of which the Library Of Congress notes, “Nearly as inventive visually as it is sonically, the film is directed by Jonathan Demme who, wisely, keeps his camera tightly focused on the stage, leaving the music and band members (and the members’ own unique theatrics) to speak completely for themselves.”
Elsewhere on the list is 1997’s Selena, which stars Lopez in her first major film role as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. The film was both huge for Lopez’s career and for Selena’s legacy, and it earned award consideration at the Grammys and Golden Globes.
Also making the cut is Evergreen, a 12-minute student film that Manzarek (who passed away in 2013) made in 1964, before he found success with The Doors. The Library Of Congress notes the film is “about a jazz musician (Henry Crismonde) and his romance with an art student (played by Manzarek’s then-girlfriend and future wife Dorothy Fujikawa).” Fujikawa said of Manzarek’s interest in film, “I think film informed his work and Jim’s work throughout their musical careers. They always thought of their songs as cinematic expressions. They were always sort of little stories that were dramatic and told a story with music. In that way, they were cinematic songs.”
Meanwhile, also included is 1975’s Cooley High, and while it’s not a music movie, it is known in part for its exemplary soundtrack, which features a mix of songs from Motown greats like Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and more.
As far as non-musical films, other highlights of this year’s class include Star Wars Episode VI — Return Of The Jedi, Wall-E, and Richard Pryor: Live In Concert.