‘Apollo 13’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Join National Film Registry

It was a year for the underdogs.

Two films that initially received mixed receptions but that later came to be considered groundbreaking in their own way — Spike Lee’s satire of blackface in cinema, “Bamboozled” (2000), and Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated Disney musical “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) — are among the motion pictures that have been selected for preservation this year in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.

Also being added are “Apollo 13” (1995), the Ron Howard space drama about the quest to save American astronauts after the failed 1970 lunar landing, and “Twelve Years a Slave” (2013), the Steve McQueen-helmed narrative that won three Academy Awards, including best picture.

The library on Wednesday announced all 25 films, dating from 1921 to 2013, that are being honored this year for their historical, cultural or aesthetic significance. Movies are chosen by the Librarian of Congress, in consultation with other experts.

The library also allows the public to make nominations at its website, and this year people nominated more than 6,800 films. Titles that were among the most submitted, and that have now been added to the list, include Chris Columbus’s holiday comedy “Home Alone” (1990), which vaulted Macaulay Culkin to stardom as a plucky youngster who uses his creativity to foil two bungling burglars; and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991), the James Cameron sci-fi sequel that became a landmark study in the use of CGI special effects.

Two documentaries selected concern battles for representation. The Oscar-winning “Helen Keller in Her Story” (1954), by Nancy Hamilton, follows its subject, who was deaf and blind, from her childhood frustration to global success as an author, lecturer and activist for the rights of women and disabled people. “We’re Alive” (1974) chronicles six months of roundtables at the California Institution for Women that drew attention to inhumane prison conditions. The conversations were led by three U.C.L.A. graduate students, Michie Gleason, Christine Lesiak and Kathy Levitt.

The experiences of Asian Americans are also centered in several new selections: “Cruisin’ J-Town” (1975), Duane Kubo’s documentary about jazz musicians in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo; the Bohulano Family home movies about a Filipino American community in Stockton, Calif. from the 1950s through the 1970s; and “Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision” (1994), Freida Lee Mock’s Oscar-winning documentary about the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.

Three films that experimented with new forms and techniques were also selected: “The Lighted Field” (1987), Andrew Noren’s silent avant-garde masterwork that traffics in sensual shadow-play; “Queen of Diamonds” (1991), a drama by Nina Menkes, filmed in Las Vegas, that contrasts the noise and neon of the city with the quiet, lonely lives of its residents; and “The Lady and the Tramp” (1955), the Disney animated romance between a spoiled cocker spaniel and a mutt, which was praised for its fuller character development and distinguished by its use of a wide-screen CinemaScope format.

The lineup also recognizes the debut features of several award-winning filmmakers: Martin Ritt’s noir drama “Edge of the City” (1957), which stars Sidney Poitier as a dockworker whose friendship with a white co-worker (John Cassavetes) aggravates a racist union leader; Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love & Basketball” (2000), a romantic sports drama that follows a boy and girl as they pursue basketball careers from childhood; and “¡Alambrista!” (1977), a small-budget film by Robert Young — often shot with a shaky, hand-held camera — that follows a farmer who enters the United States from Mexico undocumented, seeking work to support his family, which incorporates elements of guerrilla and activist filmmaking.

Finally, New Yorkers — or those who love New York — will find a lot to like on the list this year: Choices for a Manhattan-set adventure include “Fame” (1980), Alan Parker’s teen musical drama about the High School of Performing Arts; “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985), Susan Seidelman’s wackball of a film that follows an unhappy New Jersey housewife (Rosanna Arquette) down a rabbit hole of personal ads and mistaken identity; and “The Wedding Banquet” (1993), Ang Lee’s comedy about a gay Taiwanese man in New York who marries a Chinese woman to appease his parents back home (high jinks ensue when they decide to pay the “couple” a visit).

The Library of Congress said in a statement that these additions bring to 875 the number of titles on the registry created to preserve the nation’s film heritage.” Eligible movies must be at least 10 years old. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, made the choices after consulting with members of the National Film Preservation Board and others. Some registry films are also available online in the National Screening Room.

A television special, featuring several of these titles and a conversation between Hayden and Jacqueline Stewart, the film historian who directs the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, will be shown Dec. 14 on TCM.

Below are the 25 new additions to the National Film Registry:

1. “A Movie Trip Through Filmland” (1921)

2. “Dinner at Eight” (1933)

3. Bohulano Family film collection (1950s-70s)

4. “Helen Keller in Her Story” (1954)

5. “Lady and the Tramp” (1955)

6. “Edge of the City” (1957)

7. “We’re Alive” (1974)

8. “Cruisin’ J-Town” (1975)

9. “¡Alambrista!” (1977)

10. “Passing Through” (1977)

11. “Fame” (1980)

12. “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985)

13. “The Lighted Field” (1987)

14. “Matewan” (1987)

15. “Home Alone” (1990)

16. “Queen of Diamonds” (1991)

17. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

18. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

19. “The Wedding Banquet” (1993)

20. “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision” (1994)

21. “Apollo 13” (1995)

22. “Bamboozled” (2000)

23. “Love & Basketball” (2000)

24. “Twelve Years a Slave” (2013)

25. “20 Feet From Stardom” (2013)

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