Is the MCU now considered a legitimate work of cinema?
Every year, the Library of Congress unveils its annual list of 25 movies to make the cut for the National Film Registry. This list selects America’s most influential motion pictures from titles across all of American cinema. Features range from an 1898 documentary of the Mardi Gras Carnival parade in New Orleans to 2011’s Pariah.
The films are chosen for their cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage. This year’s inductees include a diversity of American filmmakers, as well as landmark works in key genres.
This year, beloved films from an array of genres were inducted into the National Film Registry. These films include Super Fly (1972), Carrie (1976), Hairspray (1988), The Little Mermaid, When Harry Met Sally, and House Party.
In a surprising reveal, the first Marvel movie was inducted.
Deadline reports that Jon Favreau’s 2008 superhero film, Iron Man, made the registry this year, establishing Marvel Studios as a dominant force in the film culture in America.
Marvel President Kevin Feige stated, “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 it was really make-or-break for the studio.”
Films are essential to American culture, and Marvel has found a way to embed itself firmly into pop culture. Whether we considered MCU movies to be cinema or not, they are still successful films that can carry cultural weight for underrepresented communities in the U.S.
Feige continued, “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.”
Iron Man might not have the same gravitas as House Party or Attica, but it does reflect the culture. These are movies that define our lives.
Turner Classic Movies will host a TV special on Dec. 27 to screen a selection of films chosen from the 25 films named to the registry this year. Until then, check out the full list of films added to the registry.
Here’s the full list 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)
Let us know your thoughts on this year’s inductees in the comments below!