Top 10 classic films discovered in 2011

When I say classic, in this case everything older than 2010. Oddly, I've hardly reviewed any of the below titles yet.

The Face of Another (1966)

(A lot of buzz currently for Almodovar's new film The Skin I live In. Watch The Face of Another for a similar atmosphere, only its Japanese)

Written on the Wind (1956)

(I got hold of a box set of director Douglas Sirk's films, this one definitely impressed me a lot. A powerful story about a rich family, who in spite of money are not happy. The mysterious title is also part of the soundtrack: “our night of stolen bliss was written on the wind)

The Decalogue 1-10 (1988)

(I finally got around to watching and loved it! Some of the best made for TV programmes ever made. Each one hour episode is about one of the ten commandments. Everyone should see Kieslowski's masterpiece at least once in their life. I'm going to review each part in 2012.)

Collateral (2004)

(Say what you will about Tom Cruise, for my money he's a talented and underrated actor. Again he delivers in Collateral as a hit man on the run. I don't know why I love Collateral, I just do. Maybe it’s the dialogue in cars thing I enjoy.)

Buffalo '66 (1998)

(Haven’t seen any film quite like this underrated indie. Don’t judge the film on the dreadful trailer. I found it very original, and that says a lot, as I have seen a ton of independent films.)

My Brilliant Career (1979)

(A forgotten Australian film more people should watch. Has a terrific script that I could really identify with at this point in my life)

Wings of Desire (1987)

(An atmosphere like no other film I know. Like a poem set to moving images. A classic.)

The Shape of Things (2003)

(Dialogue-driven comedy/drama. The pay-off means its not a film I'd see a bunch of times, but the first watch blew me away. Says a lot of smart stuff about relationships.)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

(Great acting, interesting characters. I got into some of Tennessee Williams' plays during the year, his characters kind of have a timeless quality. Another Tennessee Williams play turned into film I enjoyed features on my honourable mentions list below, The night of the iguana (1964)

The Tarnished Angels (1957)

(The poster lies, its black and white. Actually has almost the same cast as number 2 on my list Written on the wind. Another Douglas Sirk directed film. Story a little confusing at times, but loved the scenes between Rock Hudson and the woman, very endearing and romantic stuff. Plus, the flying scenes were well-done. A rare mix of action and intimate dialogue. Currently unavailable on DVD, you can watch it on youtube

Honourable mentions in random order. A few of the picks have not appeared on my blog before:
Unrelated (2008)
A Woman Under The Influence (1974)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
Now Voyager (1942)
Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Breaking Upwards (2009)
We Don’t Live Here Anymore (2004)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Inheritance (2003)
Temporary Release (2007)
Babettes Feast (1987)
10 Questions for Dalai Lama (2006)
The Four Seasons (1981)
I Vitelloni (1953)
Nights of Cabiria (1957)
The Night Of The Iguana (1964)
Cat People (1942)
Possessed (1947)
Lost Horizon (1937)
Another Woman (1988)
You, the Living (2007)
Lovers of the Artic Circle (1998)
The Dark Side Of The Sun (1988)
The Last Days of Disco (1998)
Babel (2006)
Live And Become (2005)

Look out for my top 10 films from 2011 list coming soon!

Any thoughts on the list above? What were your favourite classic or older films watched for the first time in 2011?


  1. I discovered a few of these this year as well.

    If you get the chance, go back to that Teshigahara collection and check out Woman in the Dunes. It's surprisingly powerful and starkly beautiful.

    Looking forward to what you say about The Decalogue. I found it one of my favorite film experiences of last year.

  2. Well at the very least it looks like you've been watching some very good movies in 2010.

  3. I am so glad to see A streetcar named Desire there, I loved that movie!

    For me, one of the best I have seen this year was Hunger, the 2008 Steve McQueen movie, but also a lot of 2011 releases, as well!

    Merry Christmas and happy hollidays!

  4. @SJHoneywell: Thanks for visiting. I actually already saw and loved Woman in the Dunes, here's my review:

    @Mike Lippert: I found some cinematic treasure in 2011, but didn't discover as many gems as 2010. Perhaps because I was more into music this year, and saw fewer films.

    @Aziza: Happy Christmas (: A Streetcar Named Desire was indeed very good, have you seen On the Waterfront (1954) Another of Brando's early films that is regarded as a classic.

  5. My Brilliant Career seem like a worth to watch. Interesting list, never heard of them but they sound great since you picked them in your non-2011 best movies.

    Looking forward for your top 10, Chris. But I got to ask, since I myself confused, do you include some movies from 2010 like 127 hours for example?

  6. @Andina: My Brilliant Career was enjoyable ( :
    127 hours is on my amazon listmania, top 40 of 2011, here's the link. Yes, a few are from late 2010:

  7. Chris, I like your list. For some reason I gave high rating for movies that wasn't my favorite. Favorite and best have two different meaning =)
    I'll comment your Casablanca review soon, thanks

  8. @Andina: Its ok, I know your taste is a bit different to mine, you usually like upbeat, inspirational cinema, while I sometimes go for dialogue-heavy and more experimental, independent films.

    I should have called my amazon listmania favourites, and not "best films of", thanks for reminding me ( :

  9. Hmm, I mean last year I gave ratings very similar to if it's my favorite/not, so it's easier to make favorite list. Now, I rate it based on general movies I've seen. So it's a bit different. And now my list has nothing to do with my rating ha2
    But thanks, Chris, I too enjoy your movie picks.
    It's okay to make 'best' list, I think I'll make a 'best' list too.

  10. @Andina: I'll wait posting my top films from 2011 for a few weeks, still so many new films I have not seen yet, The Descendants , A Seperation, The Skin I Live In, and other new films, they could change my top 10. Interested to see your ranking ( :

  11. I have probably seen only half the films on your list. So now I get to add some more films to my watch list.
    I especially enjoyed Buffalo 66 out of the films that I had seen.
    Nice post

  12. Some movies I have not seen yet and some I heard that were very good. I'll probably try to watch the one about the ten commandments next year.

  13. Thanks, Buffalo 66 was so quirky and original, kind of a cult film, I'm surprised its not more famous.

    @Nostra: The Decalogue requires patience, but is well-worth it. I realize from the comments that several of my choices are obscure, I like opening people's eyes to what I think are unknown gems, so they find something new ( :


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