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DFS Programmers share their year-end picks

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As 2011 draws to a close, the Dallas Film Society programming team — Artistic Director James Faust and Senior Programmer Sarah Harris — shares a few of their favorite films from this past year.  Do you agree with their picks? Tell us your favorites on our Facebook page.  

In January, we’ll bring you the 2012 films James and Sarah are curious to see.

James Faust

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

PARIAH: Dee Rees’ powerful story of sexual identity and acceptance has stuck with me for over a year now. Just beautiful. 

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE: Elizabeth Olsen is a lock for awards for her performance. I will not shoot a cat. 

TYRANNOSAUR: A true testimony to how far humanity is willing to go hurt and help. Brutally beautiful. 

MONEYBALL: I love sports. I love numbers. I love Brad Pitt, I love the last of large Jonah Hill. 

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS: Not since The Purple Rose of Cairo have I felt the magic of Woody Allen so deftly realized on screen. 

MARGIN CALL: BIG business is bad. The economy is tanking … and here's a well-acted, sharply written, first-time effort that explains so much about it … while saying so little about it. Wild. 

BEAUTIFUL BOY

BEAUTIFUL BOY: My choice for best ensemble acting 2011. I needed many hugs after this film. 

SUPER 8: JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg make E.T. mean, misunderstood and hungry for human flesh and toasters. What's not to like? As if we finally get to see the smoke creature for LOST and it's pissed. 

BEGINNERS: Great story, superb acting. Gentle smart screenplay with sure handed direction. Near perfect.  

CRIME AFTER CRIME: Gut wrenching documentary about a woman imprisoned for 25 years for asking some friends to beat up her abusive boyfriend. It went bad and he was killed. Her story lays credence to the idea that "justice is blind." Like a cougar on a kitten. 

THE INTERRUPTERS: Gang Violence is alive and deadly in the streets of Chicago. A year in the life of brave men and women trying to make—scratch that—making a difference. 

Movies in James’ personal queue:
THE ARTIST: Haven't' seen it but heard it's great. 
WAR HORSE: Spielberg crushed up his soul and snorted it and made this movie. Essence of Steven. Ode de super wide shot.
THE MUPPETS: Haven't seen it, but my inner child caught it last week. He loved it. 

Sarah Harris

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2: I heart Harry and I must admit, there were a few tears watching this. Sad to see this great series come to a close. 

WIN WIN

WIN WIN: A solid cast and script made this a charming little film.

BRIDESMAIDS: I was a maid of honor in a wedding this year and this film was great therapy for all the pre-wedding event planning I was involved in.

THE INTERRUPTERS: Steve James reveals a part of humanity amongst the violence in Chicago that most films rarely touch.  This is a must see documentary.

THE INTERRUPTERS

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE: Loved the dream-or-memory and haunting sense this film created. 

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY: An inspiring documentary about following your dreams.  (And meeting Elmo and Kevin briefly was definitely a perk!)

TREE OF LIFE: Can be a frustrating film for some, but I was mesmerized by the small, personal moments with the family. And, yes, there were dinosaurs in it too…  Malick took some huge risks making such a personal film.

Movies in Sarah’s personal queue:
THE ARTIST, THE MUPPETS, MELANCHOLIA, SENNA, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, HUGO, DRIVE

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