The Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named 25 motion pictures that have been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for 2013.

And on this year’s list includes Billy Woodberry’s woefully under-seen 1984 feature film, Bless Their Little Hearts, which fellow L.A. Rebellion comrade Charles Burnett wrote the screenplay for, and shot as well, by the way.

Other notable picks include the 1966 documentary Cicero March, which details the September 4, 1966 Civil Rights led by Robert Lucas (Congress of Racial Equality) through Cicero, Illinois to protest restrictions in housing laws. The march naturally drew a vitriolic response from white residents of Cicero, as the police struggled to prevent a riot. 

This film is included in a seven part series titled The Urban Crisis and the New Militants, produced by The Film Group which sought to educate by “raising questions rather than by attempting to answer them.” 

It’s a film I can’t claim to be familiar with, so I’ll be seeking it out.

Also worth mentioning is a short film titled The Lunch Date, which I believe we’ve highlighted on this blog in the past (years ago). Released in 1989, and directed by Adam Davidson, the 12-minute short observes the silent, humorous exchange (a lunch date) between a white woman and black man (who don’t know each other), in a cafe at a train station. The white woman misses her train, visits the cafe, walks away from her table for a second to get silverware, and when she returns, there’s a black man eating her lunch – literally. Her unexpected reaction is obviously what comes next.

I’ll hunt down the film, which won the 1990 Student Academy Award, and share it here again, if you haven’t seen it.

And Quentin Tarantino’s masterwork, Pulp Fiction, is also on the list.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual selections to the registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB). The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at the NFPB’s website (

Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of preserving America’s unparalleled film heritage,” said the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.”

For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations.

This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 625.

Here’s the full list of 2013 National Film Registry selections:

  • Bless Their Little Hearts (1984)
  • Brandy in the Wilderness (1969)
  • Cicero March (1966)
  • Daughter of Dawn (1920)
  • Decasia (2002)
  • Ella Cinders (1926)
  • Forbidden Planet (1956)
  • Gilda (1946)
  • The Hole (1962)
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
  • King of Jazz (1930)
  • The Lunch Date (1989)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Martha Graham Early Dance film (1931-44)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Men & Dust (1940)
  • Midnight (1939)
  • Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • The Quiet Man (1952)
  • The Right Stuff (1983)
  • Roger & Me (1989)
  • A Virtuous Vamp (1919)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)
  • Wild Boys of the Road (1933)