National Film Registry Has 'Close Encounters'

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Marty McFly and Curly McLain now have a place in the Library of Congress.

Along with 23 other films, "Back to the Future" and "Oklahoma!" were made part of the library's National Film Registry this week. The Library of Congress selects 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant films for induction each year; the registry now holds 475 titles.

Making the list is an honor, but the registry also seeks to preserve works from the early years of cinema, many of which have been lost due to the deterioration of film stock. This year's list includes several silent films, the 1933 Walt Disney short "The Three Little Pigs" -- which gave us the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" -- and even a home movie, "Our Day," made in 1938 by a Kentucky man named Wallace Kelly.

Of the latter film, the National Film Registry says "'Our Day' is a smart, entertaining, day-in-the-life portrait of the Kelly household, shown in both idealized and comic ways." The registry also notes Kelly's editing and camera techniques, which was equal to a lot of studio work of that time, and its "exceptional images of small-town Southern life."

Among the better-known titles on this year's list are Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Terence Malick's "Days of Heaven" and "Bullitt," which contains one of the greatest chase scenes ever put on film. Classics like "The Women," "In a Lonely Place," "Grand Hotel" and John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" are also on the list.

And how is is that "Back to the Future" is artistically, culturally or aesthetically significant? The registry cites director Robert Zemeckis' use of special effects, Christopher Lloyd's "masterfully over-the-top" performance and the blend of sci-fi and comedy it describes as "'The Twilight Zone' meets Preston Sturges."

The 2007 inductees into the National Film Registry are:

"Back to the Future" (1985)
"Bullitt" (1968)
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977)
"Dance, Girl, Dance" (1940)
"Dances With Wolves" (1990)
"Days of Heaven" (1978)
"Glimpse of the Garden" (1957)
"Grand Hotel" (1932)
"The House I Live In" (1945)
"In a Lonely Place" (1950)
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962)
"Mighty Like a Moose" (1926)
"The Naked City" (1948)
"Now, Voyager" (1942)
"Oklahoma!" (1955)
"Our Day" (1938)
"Peege" (1972)
"The Sex Life of the Polyp" (1928)
"The Strong Man" (1926)
"Three Little Pigs" (1933)
"Tol'able David" (1921)
"Tom, Tom the Piper's Son" (1969-71)
"12 Angry Men" (1957)
"The Women" (1939)
"Wuthering Heights" (1939)

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