December 30, 2009
Posted: 03:21 PM ET
By Jo Piazza, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Michael Jackson's "Thriller," with its unforgettable zombie graveyard dance, has become a national treasure.
The 1983 music video directed by John Landis was one of 25 films inducted Wednesday for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
"Thriller" is the first music video in the archives. "I think it is a recognition of how much they changed the music industry in the '80s, and we thought it was important to represent that," said Stephen Leggett, the coordinator of the National Film Preservation Board. "We picked this one because it was most iconic from the era."
The board advises the Library of Congress about selecting films for the registry and about national film preservation. Congress established the registry in 1989, and this year's selections bring the total number of films recognized to 525.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year, the librarian of Congress, currently James H. Billington, names 25 films to the registry that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant, to be preserved.
The library then works to make sure that a copy of the film is at least preserved by a film, television or recording company, and then tries to obtain a copy to keep in the Library of Congress, where it is available for research purposes, Leggett said.
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