I had been refraining from posting in-progress top tens until at least midyear, so as to avoid the outright comedy of shit-film inclusions. But I've discovered that my memory, along with my nerdly bookkeeping skills, are failing as I stumble into middle age. So consider this an internal document that has been WikiLeaked.

 

2011 TOP ELEVEN (world premieres only)

 

1. River Rites (Ben Russell, U.S. / Suriname) [s]

 

2. House of Tolerance [L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)] (Bertrand Bonello, France)

 

3. The Return (Nathaniel Dorsky, U.S.) [m]

 

4. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, U.S.)

 

5. Ricky (Janie Geiser, U.S.) [s]

 

6. Edwin Parker (Tacita Dean, U.K. / U.S.) [s]

 

7. Elena (Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia)

 

8. Keyhole (Guy Maddin, Canada)

 

9. Almayer's Folly (Chantal Akerman, Belgium / France)

 

10. Low Life (Nicolas Klotz and Elizabeth Perceval, France)

 

11. Sleeping Sickness (Ulrich Köhler, Germany / France)

 

 

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2011 TOP TEN RELEASES (poll-eligible only)

 

1. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, France / Italy / Belgium)

 

2. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland)

 

3. House of Tolerance [L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)] (Bertrand Bonello, France)

 

4. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, U.S.)

 

5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand /U.K. / France / Germany / Spain / The Netherlands)

 

6. Silent Souls (Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia)

 

7. Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki, Finland / France / Germany)

 

8. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, U.S.)

 

9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, U.K.)

 

10. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, U.S.)

 

[11. Hugo (Martin Scorsese, U.S.)]

 

[12. Tuesday, After Christmas (Radu Muntean, Romania)]

 

[13. Nostalgia For The Light (Patricio Guzmán, Chile / France / Germany)]

 

[14. The Arbor (Clio Barnard, U.K.)]