"Every year, Librarian of Congress James H Billington personally selects which films will be added to the National Film Registry, working from a list of suggestions from the library’s National Film Preservation Board and the general public," reports Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post. This year's list of 25 films slated for preservation:
- Allures (Jordan Belson, 1961)
- Bambi (Walt Disney, 1942)
- The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953)
- A Computer Animated Hand (Pixar, 1972)
- Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (Robert Drew, 1963)
- The Cry of the Children (George Nichols, 1912)
- A Cure for Pokeritis (Laurence Trimble, 1912)
- El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez, 1992)
- Faces (John Cassavetes, 1968)
- Fake Fruit Factory (Chick Strand, 1986)
- Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
- Growing Up Female (Jim Klein and Julia Reichert, 1971)
- Hester Street (Joan Micklin Silver, 1975)
- I, an Actress (George Kuchar, 1977)
- The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924)
- The Kid (Charlie Chaplin, 1921)
- The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, 1945)
- The Negro Soldier (Stuart Heisler, 1944)
- Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies (1930s-40s)
- Norma Rae (Martin Ritt, 1979)
- Porgy and Bess (Otto Preminger, 1959)
- The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
- Stand and Deliver (Edward James Olmos, Rosanna DeSoto, Ramon Menendez and Lou Diamond Phillips, 1988)
- Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 1934)
- War of the Worlds (Byron Haskin, 1953)
Today's big best-of-2011 package comes from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, where Dennis Harvey, Cheryl Eddy, Kimberly Chun, Ryan Lattanzio, Jesse Hawthorne Ficks, Lynn Rapoport, Sam Stander and Max Goldberg roll out variously formatted lists. Also: Cheryl Eddy riffs on the year's apocalyptic mood, beginning with Lars von Trier's Melancholia, which also lands in the #1 spot on Alison Willmore's list at Movieline as well as Cineuropa's list of the top five European films of 2011.
Plus, Max Goldberg: "American cinema lost several of its troubadours this past year: genuine independents like Robert Breer, Owen Land, Adolfas Mekas, Richard Leacock, Jordan Belson, and George Kuchar. Critical appraisal of these sui generis filmmakers tends to rest upon masterpieces and technique, but several were also influential as teachers." Kimberly Chun sings the praises of the year's male leads with "actorly chops, talent, personality, and/or good works to boot." Sam Stander looks back on the year's superheroes and Lynn Rapoport picks the best rom-coms from a pretty sorry lot.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives tops the annotated lists from both editors of In Review Online, so moving on to the #2s: For Jordan Cronk, it's Raúl Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon, "a landmark achievement; as a capstone to one of the greatest careers in modern cinema, it’s both lament and testimony." Mysteries, by the way, tops Ehsan Khoshbakht's list, too (also posted here). And Katie Smith's #2 is Bertrand Bonello's House of Pleasures, "a baroque free-for-all of sensuality and violence stoked by anachronism."
New York's David Edelstein looks back on his favorite performances of 2011.
Luke McKernan has notes on the silent film events of 2012, while Movieline's ST VanAirsdale cracks a few over his own calendar.
"Fast Five, The Hangover Part II and Thor were the year's most pirated movies, topping a list that contained some surprising differences from the most popular movies at the box office," reports Ben Fritz for the Los Angeles Times, where he's got the top ten.
"Welcome to Whore Week at eFilmCritic, brought to you by Criticwatch." Erik Childress offers two 2011 retrospectives, one for Pete Hammond and another for Peter Travers. Also: Brian Orndorf's "Best Films of 2011."
Both the Detroit and Phoenix Film Critics Societies go with Michel Hazanavicius and The Artist.
Viewing (11'18"). The Guardian's film critics discuss their films of the year.
Los Angeles. Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale (2000) is playing all week-long at Cinefamily.
New York. Dirty Looks presents Curt McDowell's Sparkle's Tavern (1985), with Melinda McDowell, Marion Eaton and George Kuchar, tonight at Participant Inc.
"When it comes to Christmas movies, the French prefer naughty over nice any day," writes Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times. "Le Père Noël Est une Ordure (whose literal translation would make George Bailey blush, so Santa Stinks will have to do), a much-loved 1982 farce finally having its American theatrical premiere at the Museum of Modern Art, is a fine example. Crude, rude and with more foul language than a Gordon Ramsay marathon, this smutty staple could give even the most hardened Francophobe a few guilty giggles." Through Monday.
In the works. Terrence Malick's untitled romantic comedy with Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams (and maybe Michael Sheen as well) will likely appear in 2012, but his Lawless with Christian Bale and Rooney Mara won't start shooting until September. Oliver Lyttelton has more at the Playlist.
Dan Aykroyd will be joining Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott in the cast of Dog Fight, Jay Roach's comedy about a congressional election written by Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy (Eastbound & Down). Keith Staskiewicz reports for EW.
Browsing. Old Hollywood's posted storyboards "drawn up by an 11-year-old Martin Scorsese for The Eternal City, an imaginary widescreen Roman epic he dreamed of making. His 'cast' included Marlon Brando, Virginia Mayo, Alec Guinness and Richard Burton."