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'Iron Man,' 'Super Fly' and 'Carrie' are inducted into the National Film Registry

<em>Iron Man</em>, from 2008, is one of the newest inductees into the National Film Registry, where it will be preserved for posterity.
Library of Congress
Iron Man, from 2008, is one of the newest inductees into the National Film Registry, where it will be preserved for posterity.

Every year, 25 movies are added to the National Film Registry to be preserved for posterity by the Library of Congress.

Intended to reflect the depth and breadth of American filmmaking, the selections always feature blockbuster titles intended to generate attention. The biggest one this year is Iron Man that launched Marvel Studios as an inescapable force in American popular culture in 2008.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in a statement, "Iron Man was the very first film Marvel Studios independently produced. It was the first film that we had all of the creative control and oversight on and was really make or break for the studio. All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again and that we grow up with. The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of Iron Man, and to have it join the Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world."

Other contemporary classics to be inducted this year include Hairspray, House Party, When Harry Met Sally, The Little Mermaid and the Blaxploitation classic Super Fly, which was directed by Gordon Parks Jr., son of renowned photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks. Another movie, Cyrano de Bergerac, from 1950, made José Ferrer the first Hispanic actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor.

Notable documentaries selected this year include Frederick Wiseman's landmark 1967 Titicut Follies, filmed inside a state psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts, and Union Maids, directed by Julia Reichert. She spent decades documenting working-class life in southern Ohio and learned of this film's inclusion shortly before her death earlier in December.

This year's selections include at least 15 films directed or co-directed by filmmakers of color, women or LGBTQ+ filmmakers. The latter category includes the experimental black-and-white short Scorpio Rising, from 1963, and a low-budget drama from 2011.

That film, Pariah, is the most recent film to be included and one of the very few in the National Film Registry to be helmed by a Black lesbian director.

Films Selected for the 2022 National Film Registry, in chronological order:

 Mardi Gras Carnival (1898)
 Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951)
 Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
 Charade (1963)
 Scorpio Rising (1963)
 Behind Every Good Man (1967)
 Titicut Follies (1967)
 Mingus (1968)
 Manzanar (1971)
 Betty Tells Her Story (1972)
 Super Fly (1972)
 Attica (1974)
 Carrie (1976)
 Union Maids (1976)
 Word is Out: Stories of Our Lives (1977)
 Bush Mama (1979)
 The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
 Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1984)
 Hairspray (1988)
 The Little Mermaid (1989)
 Tongues Untied (1989)
 When Harry Met Sally (1989)
 House Party (1990)
 Iron Man (2008)
 Pariah (2011)

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Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.