Iconic Movie with El Paso Connection, ‘Selena’ Inducted into National Film Registry
A movie with an El Paso connection about a beloved Mexican-American Tejano Music singer from Corpus Christi, Texas murdered by her assistant just as she was on the cusp of pop music stardom will be preserved for time eternal.
The film, of course, is "Selena." The 1997 biopic is one of the movies added to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for 2021.
Twenty-five films deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" are added each year.
U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio led the charge in getting the movie nominated for consideration. In a letter sent to Librarian of Congress on behalf of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Castro, wrote, in part:
["Selena"] touches on important themes of cultural identity and assimilation faced by Mexican American communities as they navigate their personal connections to two cultures and languages.
The film has become a beloved icon of Latino culture and has found widespread mainstream success, proving once and for all that Latino stories are American stories.
Given its importance as a work of Latino cinema, we believe it is deserving of preservation at the Library of Congress.
The El Paso Connection
The film that made Jennifer Lopez a household name has two El Paso connections.
El Paso native Lupe Ontiveros plays Yolanda Saldívar, the former fan club president who was convicted of murdering the beloved music legend. Ontiveros, who graduated from El Paso High School, passed away in 2012 from liver cancer.
Selena marks the fourth movie Ontiveros has been a part of that is in the National Film Registry. Zoot Suit, El Norte, and Real Women Have Curves are the other three.
Anything for Selenas
El Paso is also Erick Carrillo’s hometown. Carillo, who now lives in Los Angeles, portrays the character referred to in the script as "First Cholo.”
The scene-stealing Carillo delivers two of the most memorable lines in the movie: "This bumper was pulled off by the bus of Selenas" and the often-quoted, "Anything for Selenas!" As many times as I've seen the movie, that scene still makes me LOL.
“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” are also among the 25 movies chosen for preservation this year.