Monday, February 3, 2014


Lists used to be a regular thing here at PINNLAND EMPIRE, but for whatever reason I gave them up in favor of writing longer articles that most of you probably don't even finish reading once you start (wait til you see what I have planned for Friday). It recently hit me that although its way too early to start deciding what the defining films of the decade are, there's already quite a few isolated moments from the last 4+ years of movies that are so visually striking, prolific, heartbreaking, frightening or hilarious, that they deserve to be mentioned.

So as part of a new ongoing series, we're going to list my personal favorite movie moments of the decade so far. I put an emphasis on the word personal because its just that. My own personal opinion. This list in no way speaks for anyone else. And please keep in mind that this is ongoing (as you're checking this first installment I'll already be putting the final touches on part four). So if you don't see something listed that you feel should be, give it some time. It may show up eventually. There's no order or hierarchy in what gets listed either.

FYI...Four of the seven films represented in this installment are currently streaming on Netflix instant, another is currently in theaters, one is set to be released by criterion in the near future and another can be found on DVD & Blu-Ray at any Best Buy, Target or Barnes & Noble, so I don't wanna hear any of that; "no one has heard of or seen any of these movies"

So here's part one. Enjoy...

The first 10 minutes of Post Tenebras Lux
I'm not even a parent but Carlos Reygadas shoots this scene so intimately that I feel like I'm watching my own daughter play and have the time of her life right before my very own eyes. The purpleish sky & fish-eye lens perspective adds to this scene's overwhelmingly beautiful ambiance too...

Boonmee's son appears in the opening moments of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Drawing on the infamous image of bigfoot, this scene is so effective because not only does he just sort of appear out nowhere, but he makes eye contact with us and stares directly in to our soul.

Sean Penn wanders through his office in The Tree Of Life
I'd rather not bore you again with my angst & frustrations with the world of architecture & design, but this scene really does capture all that. For further reading, check out part one of the whole history of my life as well as my write-up on this very scene from a couple of years ago...

Opening credits for Enter The Void
I've never taken cocaine or uppers before, but I imagine Gaspar Noe has, which is why the introduction to his last film felt so authentic. The opening credits to Enter The Void might cause you to go to a nightclub and commit a gruesome mass murder.

The final 15-20 minutes or so of Blue Valentine
I was already sad & frustrated by the time Cindy uttered the phrase; "I am so out of love with you", but the final moments where we see Dean try not to cry in front of his daughter and eventually walk off by himself is just heartbreaking.

Franck sees something he's not supposed to see in Stranger By The Lake

Typically in a neo-noir/murder mystery, we don't discover who the killer is until the end of the film. That's the big reveal. But Alain Guiraudie lays all that out in the first act of Stranger By The Lake in a scene that makes us feel like we're right there watching a murder take place yet we're too scared to scream or call for help.

Adele & Emma walk past each other for the first time (Blue Is The Warmest Color)
It may seem cliche or corny, but we've all been there or wish we could experience the thrill of locking eyes with someone on the street and instantly fall in love at least once in our lives. The three hour epic that is Blue Is Warmest Color offers plenty of memorable scenes, but nothing quite like these few seconds here...

Tune in to the next installment where we take a look at Marvel's greatest cinematic moment, a balls to the wall samurai battle royale that would make Kurosawa proud, and a great scene from a film I'm not too particularly fond of...


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