Angie’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

I find it difficult to say whether 2011 was an unusually strong or unusually weak year for films. As in any year, there were pleasant surprises and disappointments alike. If I had to pinpoint the one thing my favorites tend to have in common, though, it’s a sense that each of them were made with great love by people who cared desperately about them.

I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say at the start of a top 10 list to totally deflect the disgruntled comments from readers who incensed to see that X made my top 10 when Y didn’t, etc., but I’m still going to throw out the usual caveats. There are certainly deserving films that were left off just because I forgot about them, or because I missed the theatrical run, or because I couldn’t fully appreciate them due to my own biases, or what have you. I also want to acknowledge that there is no fair way to compare, say, Bridesmaids against Tree of Life, but that by ranking these movies I’ve done so anyway.

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to stress that this is not intended as an objective list of the ten best movies of the year, but as a totally subjective look back at my personal favorites of 2011. Read my list and leave your thoughts after the jump.

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Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Screen Epiphanies: Filmmakers on the Films that Inspired Them

I’ve always loved reading and hearing what great filmmakers think of other great films and directors. You may have noticed that we ask some directors about their favorite films, from time to time, and I’ve even featured other websites and books that delve into this subject on the site from time to time.

Geoffrey Macnab and the British Film Institute have put together a book titled Screen Epiphanies: Filmmakers on the Films that Inspired Them collecting the stories of thirty-five leading international filmmakers focusing on “the film moments that stayed with them long after they left the movie theater” which inspired them to pursue a career in the movie industry.

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Quentin Tarantino

Update #2: Our friends at The Quentin Tarantino Archives believe that the movie is being produced by A Band Apart, which has somehow been confused as a “Quentin Tarantino production”.

Update: Our friends at Production Weekly have provided us with more information about this project:

Michael Madsen & Bret Davidson were attached to direct together  last year, Davidson wrote the script. Max, a retired war hero, sets to enjoy a weekend at his cabin. While riding his motorcycle on the way up he stops to give a helpful hand to a beautiful woman, Rita, whose car has broken down on the side of the road. He helps her to the nearest repair shop without knowing Rita’s current involvement with the most powerful influence in Las Vegas. Unbeknownst to him Max is soon to enter into the biggest battle for his life.

Celebrity gossip columnist Liz Smith is reporting a rumor that Sharon Stone is going to star in a movie for Quentin Tarantino titled Weekend. Supposedly the movie co-stars Jessica Biel, Lucy Liu, Dennis Hopper and Michael Madsen and it will be filmed in Serbia

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