I take films seri­ously. But don’t worry. If we were hang­ing out, I would not dic­tate what you should absolutely be watch­ing this sec­ond, or engage in a con­ver­sa­tion with myself about the sig­nif­i­cance of mon­tage in Bat­tle­ship Potemkin. I’m not that kind of guy.

No, when I say that I take films seri­ously, I’m refer­ring to my rela­tion­ship with them. When life expe­ri­ences can’t cut it, cin­ema often fills in the cracks. In fact, movies that I con­nected with from 2007–2010 kept me afloat when noth­ing else would. But life changes. Resilience wins out. Then, you wake up one day and admit that you feel pretty good. And just as sud­denly, watch­ing 32 movies in 30 days feels like less of a tri­umph and more of a restriction.

This year, my rela­tion­ship with films didn’t change. But where the rela­tion­ship remained the same, my par­tic­i­pa­tion didn’t. I watched less. I lived more. And it worked out really well for every­one involved.

For instance, one of Clementi’s Sonati­nas was being played on the piano in my apart­ment a few min­utes ago. You couldn’t hear it. But it sounded amaz­ing. And as I com­pile this list of the ten most enjoy­able films that were viewed for the first time in 2011, that’s exactly what I’m talk­ing about.

Fam­ily Busi­ness (Tom Cohen, 1978)
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970)
Gains­bourg: A Heroic Life (Joann Sfar, 2010)
Scor­pion: Grudge Song (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1973)
Girl Boss Revenge: Suke­ban (Nori­fumi Suzuki, 1973)
Love Affair, Or The Case Of The Miss­ing Switch­board Oper­a­tor (Dusan Makave­jev, 1967)
Out­law Motor­cy­cles (Titus Moede, 1966)
Stick It In Your Ear aka Vor­tex (Charles Mor­gan, 1970)
Jeu De Mas­sacre aka The Killing Game (Alain Jes­sua, 1967)
L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)

I also watched some stuff for Bleed­ing Skull.