National Film Registry makes a 2016 list for the ages including 'East of Eden,' 'The Birds,' 'Thelma & Louise' and more

The National Film Registry’s Class of 2016 has arrived, bringing to 700 the number of titles in the collection of “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant motion pictures. 

Get this: It’s loaded with millennials. 

Ten of the 25 films selected by the librarian of Congress this year were born after 1980, including familiar titles such as “The Breakfast Club,” “The Lion King,” “Thelma & Louise,” “The Princess Bride” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

“I am very honored and proud to be acknowledged by the Library of Congress. ‘Blade Runner’ will now have two great ladies to keep him company,” “Thelma & Louise” director Ridley Scott said in a statement. Scott’s 1982 movie starring Harrison Ford got the registry nod in 1993.

That a female buddy action movie would have lasting cultural significance didn’t occur to star Susan Sarandon when they were making a movie she’d thought would just be a fun gig, she told The Times. As for the firestorm it ignited on arrival in 1991, “I really didn’t see it coming at all,” she said. 

“Now it’s seen as a feminist film and everybody is very positive about it,” said Sarandon, who played Louise to Geena Davis’ Thelma. “But it got a lot of push-back initially when it came out.” 

“The Birds,” “Blackboard Jungle,” “East of Eden” and “A Walk in the Sun,” which came out in 1963, 1955, 1955 and 1945, respectively, are among the baby boomers in the group. “Point Blank,” “Funny Girl” and Robert Downey Sr.’s “Putney Swope,” released in 1967, 1968 and 1969, respectively, fill the list’s Gen X ranks. And the original 1916 incarnation of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” serves as a reminder that culture needn’t always be parsed by generation. 

“Motion pictures document our history and culture and serve as a mirror of our collective experiences,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “The National Film Registry embraces the richness and diversity of film as an art form and celebrates the people who create the magic of cinema.”

The titles are chosen by the librarian in consultation with the National Film Preservation Board and others. Thousands of movies are suggested annually by the public as well.

The balance of the 25 titles — including shorts, documentaries and silent films along with the higher-profile comedies and dramas — are: “The Atomic Cafe” (1982), “Ball of Fire” (1941), “The Beau Brummels” (1928), “The Decline of Western Civilization” (1981), “Life of an American Fireman” (1903), “Lost Horizon” (1937), “Musketeers of Pig Alley” (1912), “Paris Is Burning” (1990),  “Rushmore” (1998), Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28), “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928) and “Suzanne, Suzanne” (1982).

In addition to the registry, the Library of Congress has 1.3 million items in its motion-picture collection.

Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.

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