As usual, click on images to link to my reviews.
Certified CopyWhat role does authenticity really play in art? In Certified Copy James takes “She” to see a painting in a museum. It’s of the Greek Muse Polymnia. It was thought to be an original copy (yes, a paradox) for years until it was revealed to be an imitation, at which point critics feeling that it was such a perfect replication it was meritorious in its own right. Then….asks, James…why the hubbub about real and artificial artefacts? Their realness has no effect one they’re effectively rendered. And the dance the two leads take part in the film is essentially forcing us to ask ourselves the question. Does not knowing whether something is authentic or not diminish its worth?
directed by Abbas Kiarostami; original screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami
I remember Jose in particular zeroing on the way which this film portends to the potential duplicity in globalisation, and that’s just one of the facets at work here. Soderbergh has been continuously diverting between genres, and I’m impressed as his ability to handle them. Contagionis not just a return to the huge cast of Traffic. The tagline of “nothing spreads like fear” is certainly pat, but in the film’s insistence on an almost antiseptic sheen to cover the realness of the machinations on screen only augment the truly horrific undertones which can be found if we look around at ourselves.
directed by Steven Soderbergh; original screenplay by Scott Z. Burns
directed by Joe Wright; original screenplay by David Farr and Seth Lochhead
directed by Lars von Trier; original screenplay by Lars von Trier
The Tree of Life
The entirety of a man’s world flashing before his (and our) eyes. I feel I don’t explicitly need to justify this film’s position here, it’s both a requiem for life and an praise song for it. It’s abstract and yet it has a definitive focus on a family, it is visually progressive in the best of ways, its teeming with individuality and ferociously personal. It’s scope is both infinitesimal and infinite. One thing you can’t fault Malick for as a filmmaker is courage.
directed by Terrence Malick; original screenplay by Terrence Malick
Runners Up: A Separation is an outstanding amalgamation of family drama, societal politic, legal strife and religious fervour unfolding with an easiness unknown in so many films trying to tackle one of these issues; Hugo is, perhaps, based on a book for children but it’s a passionate and romantic look at something deeply personal to Scorsese grounded in all the charm and fantasy with which one remembers olden idols.
Honourable Mentions: The Artist; A Dangerous Method; Drive; Rampart
Previously: Actresses / Sound and Music / Opening Scenes / Forgotten Characters
Which films of 2011 do you think have important in pushing the medium forward?