Not Coming to a Theater Near You Two-Thousand Eleven In Review

January Thirtieth Two-Thousand Eleven

by Michael Nordine At around this time last year, Not Coming to a Theater Near You hosted a feature called Blind Spots. The intention was for contributors to see a “classic” of one variety or another – The Godfather, Blade Runner, and Pulp Fiction all made appearances – and write about the film itself as well as the experience of catching up on something that seemingly everybody else has already seen. I’ve since watched 500-plus films (many of them fitting the above description) and still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. To be a cinephile, critic, or simply a casual moviegoer is a fluid, ongoing process that neither ends nor peaks. Though it becomes increasingly rare as time passes, the act of discovering a a truly special movie is a revitalizing experience that makes all the bad ones more than worth it. Here, then, are just a few of the films I watched in 2011 that moved, humbled, or otherwise affected me:

It occurred to me just before writing this that much of my love for the Coen Brothers is owed to how lovely their endings tend to be. It’s silly or even shallow, perhaps, but I tend to find the last minute of a film to be the most important, and the final scenes of Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and No Country for Old Men – which is to say, my five favorite films of theirs minus The Big Lebowski – in particular give me goosebumps whenever I simply think of them. How I never made the connection before is beyond me, but suffice to say that Barton Fink falls into this category as well. It’s a fine movie besides, one worthy of all the praise and study it’s elicited, but when thinking of it my mind immediately wanders to that brief scene on the beach and stays there.

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