Best Films – 2011

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Juggling travel and work, I still managed to catch 175 films in 2011. Below is a list of the films I liked the most, organized chronologically – in the order that I saw some them along the year.

I was able to see a few films that have not been officially released in the US. By the way, most US annual “top ten” lists require that  a film must have had  a one week long release in the USA. Otherwise, it cannot be counted. So if one happens to catch a film that plays for a couple of days somewhere in the US, then that film cannot be added to any lists as it has not been “officially” released. I do not follow this criteria as it seems a bit dated for the digital era.

I also saw a few others that were officially released in the US this year although they were released last year or before in other countries. For this  set of films, I have added the year in which they were actually made in the lists below.

  • Caves of Forgotten Dreams (3D) – Werner Herzog (2010, Germany)
  • Le Quattro Volte – Michelangelo Frammartino (2010, Italy)
  • The Time that Remains – Elia Suleiman (2009, Israel/France)
  • Incendies  – Denis Villeneuve (Canada)
  • Octubre / Octubre- Daniel  & Diego Vega Vidal (2010, Perú)
  • City of Life and Death – Lu Chuan (2010, China)
  • The Tree of Life – Terence Malick (USA)
  • Senna – Asif Kapadia (2010, UK)
  • Silent Souls – Aleksei Fedorchenko (2010 Russia)
  • The Turin Horse – Bela Tarr  (Hungary)
  • Margin Call – J.C. Chandor  (USA)
  • Le Havre – Aki Kaurismaki  (Finland)
  • Melancholia – Lars von Trier (Denmark)
  • A Separation – Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
Worth seeing:
  • Secret Sunshine / Milyang – Chang-dong Lee (2007, Korea)
  • Biutiful –  Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Mexico)
  • Bas-fonds – Islid Le Besco (2010,France)
  • I saw the Devil –  Ji-woon Kim (2010, Korea)
  • Even the Rain / También la lluvia – Icíar Bollaín (2010, Spain)
  • The Princess of Montpensier – Dir. Bertrand Travernier (2010, France)
  • The Student / El Estudiante –  Santiago Mitre – Argentina
  • Sarah’s Key / Elle s’appelait Sarah – Gilles Paquet-Brenner (2010, France)
  • The Guard – John Michael McDonagh (UK)
  • The Help – Tate Taylor (USA)
  • The Beast / La Bestia –  Pedro Ultreras (2010, Mexico)
  • The Ides of March –  George Clooney (USA)
  • The Siege / La Toma – Angus Gibson & Miguel Salazar (South Africa/Colombia)
  • The Names of Love  / Le nom des gens – Dir. Michel Leclerc (2010, France)
  • A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg (Canada)

Catching up (seeing the ones I missed in the past):

  • Silentium – Wolfgang Murnberger (2004, Austria)
  • Charly –  Isild Le Besco (2007, France)
  • Cargo 200 – Aleksey Balabanov (2007, Russia)
  • Shadows in Paradise –  Aki Kaurismaki (1986, Finland)
  • The Zone / La Zona –  Rodrigo Plá (2007, Mexico)
  • Alamar –  Pedro González-Rubio (2008, Mexico)
  • Little Soldier – Lille Soldat –  Annette K. Olesen (2008, Denmark)
  • Teo’s Journey / El viaje de Teo –  Walter Doehner (2007, Mexico)
  • The Infinite Border /La Frontera Infinita – Juan Manuel Sepulveda (2007, Mexico)
  • Leningrad Cowboys go to America – Aki Kariusmaki (1989,  Finland)
  • The King / El Rey –  José Antonio Dorado (2004, Colombia)

Classics revisited:

  • The Liberation of LB Jones – William Wyler (1970, USA)
  • Mississippi Mermaid –  Francois Truffaut (1969, France)
  • Belle de Jour – Luis Buñuel (1967, Spain/France)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – Tony Richardson (1962, UK)
  • Rififi – Du rififi chez les hommes –  Jules Dassin (1955, France)
  • Gun Crazy – Joseph H. Lewis (1950, USA)
  • The Home and the World –  Satyajit Ray (1985, India)
  • Aguirre: The Wrath of God – Werner Herzog (1972, Germany)
  • Mamma Roma –  Pier Paolo Pasolini (1962, Italy)
  • The Leopard / Il Gatopardo –  Luchino Visconti (1960, Italy)
  • Eclipse / L’eclisee –  Michelaneglo Antonioni (1962, Italy)
  • Wanda –  Barbara Loden (1970, USA)

Did not manage to see but really wanted to:

  • Mysteries of Lisbon – Raul Ruiz (Portugal)
  • Nostalgia for the Light / Nostalgia de la Luz – Patricio Guzman (2010, Chile)
  • A Bright Summer Day –Edward Yang (1991, Taiwan)
  • Extraordinary Stories / Historias Extraordinarias – Mariano Llinás (2008, Argentina)
  • World on a Wire – Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1973, Germany)

Cheers, Raúl