481) Raw Faith (2010) Dir: William Peter Wiedensmith Date Released: June 24, 2011 Date Seen: November 27, 2011 Rating: 3.25/5
482) El Sicario, Room 164 (2010) Dir: Gianfranco Rosi December 28, 2011 Date Seen: November 27, 2011 Rating: 3.75/5
483) A Useful Life (2010) Dir: Federico Veiroj Date Released: January 14, 2011 Date Seen: November 27, 2011 Rating: 4.25/5
I forget which "Best of 2011" poll I watched these three films for...I think Slant Magazine. Yeah, that musta been it. In any case:
Raw Faith: A surprisingly stirring documentary portrait about an inspiring priest whose sermons actually are moving and thoughtful. Only really falters when it tries to force the priest's winter-winter love affair into seeming more important than it probably is (ie: the fulfillment of her long-unfulfilled desire for companionship). Still, mostly interesting, which is more than I thought it would be.
El Sicario, Room 164: Gianfranco Rosi doesn't always have control enough over his interview with El Sicario's veiled hitman subject. But the killer's story is inherently gripping. So it's very easy to just sit back and be led around by an unreliable narrator.
A Useful Life: This one totally blew me away. Melancholic and angry, this movie is very much about the feelings of powerlessness that surround a marginalized film curator/historian in Uraguay. I feel that the film's concern with the disappearance of film history and film culture is premature. But this movie is sad, moving and very tender. And so short! Really blew me away.