Film: Best of 2011

Amy Taubin

Lars von Trier, Melancholia, 2011, still from a color film in 35 mm, 130 minutes. Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

1 Melancholia (Lars von Trier) In a vision of cosmic amour fou scored to Wagner’s “Liebestod,” the Earth and the errant planet of the title collide. Is it literally the end of the world, or has a cloud of depression finally engulfed one woman’s vulnerable psyche? In either case, the miracle of the film is that it allows us to experience the arrival of the dreaded thing as an exhilarating release.

2 A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg) At long last, a brilliant intellectual adventure film about the birth of psychoanalysis and Freud’s disruption of early-twentieth-century repressive bourgeois society with his insistence on the reality of the body and its inseparability from the psyche.

3 This Is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb) Under house arrest and forbidden to make movies for twenty years, the great Iranian director Jafar Panahi defies the authorities with a work

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