2011 A year in review

A silent film, a few great films and the triumph of religion

2o11 will be remembered as the year of the social revolts around the globe. A new Era has been born. Something has changed forever. The Arts are changing as well. However, it does not appear to be a radical transformation. It looks as if the conservative mood is taking over the cinema and the rest of the arts. Why? How? Those are the questions we need to ask ourselves. There was a time when truly great films, films that changed the history of cinema used to win at Cannes and Berlin. La Dolce Vita (1960), Viridiana (1961), Il gattopardo(1963), Blow-Up (1967), The Conversation (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), Pulp Fiction (1994) and many more. Through that time, European and American filmmakers of the 60´s and 70´s led a Revolution that was finally overcome by a new generation of artists who were more into business than art. Fair enough. We can refer to them as the Spielbergs or the Disneys. Very talented and smart creators of so-called «feelgood movies» or «family films». Gradually, the willingness to shake audience, exposing them to deep, complex stories that branded a new aesthetic has been replaced by the goal of making more profit out of telling simpler stories targeted for family audiences. We have grown used to accepting that the fact that a film is presented or awarded in a Festival is no guarantee of quality at all. There are no longer established criteria for Art. It depends on the taste of the individual. But there has to be some kind of agreement about what is good and bad. What is going to pass the test of time and what is not. That way we would be able to single out what is relevant. Today, critics are needed more than ever. Not to tell us what to see, but to provide us with a deeper perspective on the work that the artists do. Nobody is perfect or in possession of truth when it comes to talking about art, so in the end everything comes down to a subjective approach. The people who write for this magazine think that the following films are the best of 2011, but it is just our opinion as individuals, and it is based on our own education and taste. There is some disagreement among us, since we come from different backgrounds and like different things. That´s healthy. We believe in democratic values. Most likely, 2011 is not going to be remembered as a very brilliant year film-wise. There has to be a reaction to the extremely dangerous situation that we are living in the world. Europe and America have to rise up, as their populations are doing, making an effort to be more creative and less selfish. It is in difficult times as these when Art and Culture are more acutely needed. Art is not a luxury but a right for the whole society.

Without further ado, these are our choices for the 2011 best picks.

1 The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
2 Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
3 Melancholia (Lars Von Trier)
4 Hugo (Martin Scorsese)
5 Margin Call (J.C. Chandor)
6 Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
7 Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn)
8 The tree of life (Terrence Malick)
9 Buck (Cindy Meehl)
10 Shame (Steve Mcqueen)
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