The story of the Buena Vista Social Club’s effort to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba is being celebrated.
The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 movies to make the cut for the National Film Registry, with the documentary named after the ensemble of Cuban musicians, Buena Vista Social Club, making the cut.
The Buena Vista Social Club project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members’ club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as son, bolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for many years.
Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. The film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.
Lourdes Portillo’s The Devil Never Sleeps is part of a record number of films directed by women that make the list this year.
The 76-year-old Mexican film director’s mystery/documentary centers on Oscar, who is found dead from a gunshot wound. His wife believes he committed suicide. But his nephew, Portillo, suspects that it was murder and investigates the death with no help from the authorities.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles.”
This year’s list brings the number of films selected for preservation in the registry to 800.
Turner Classic Movies will host a television special from 8:00 pm ET on December. 15 to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry. Among the films to air are The Battle of the Century, Lilies of the Field, Illusions, The Joy Luck Club, Cabin in the Sky and The Man with the Golden Arm.
Here’s the full rundown of this year’s additions:
The Battle Of The Century (1927)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Cabin In The Sky (1943)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
Freedom Riders (2010)
The Ground (1993-2001)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
Lilies Of The Field (1963)
Losing Ground (1982)
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
With Car And Camera Around The World (1929)