Friday, May 2, 2014


Lists used to be a regular thing here at PINNLAND EMPIRE, but for whatever reason I gave them a rest in favor of writing longer articles that most of you probably don't even finish reading once you start. It recently hit me that although its way too early to start deciding what the defining movies of the decade are, there's already quite a few isolated moments from the last 4+ years that are either so visually striking, prolific, heartbreaking, frightening, hilarious or a combination of everything 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 fifth installment I'll already be putting the final touches on part seven). 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...three of the seven films represented in this installment are currently streaming on Netflix instant and two are easy to come by on DVD & Blu-Ray just about anywhere, so I don't wanna hear any of that; "no one has heard of or seen any of these movies" (again...I will admit that two films on this list aren't easy to watch or come by on DVD/Blu-Ray)

So, here's part five. Enjoy...

Simon discovers his teacher's dead body (Monsieur Lahzar)
Monsieur Lahzar was one of the more underrated films to come out in recent years but thanks to TIFF, The Lincoln Center Film Society, Netflix and the Oscar Nomination it got back in 2011, it’s getting more attention. When I saw this at TIFF I honestly went in knowing nothing outside of it being about a substitute elementary school teacher and his students, so I really wasn’t expecting this scene (especially so early on in the movie).

A sad realization (Michael)
Talk about a slap in the face... 
Here’s an extremely hard hitting/heartbreaking moment from the 2011 film Michael where a young boy whose been kidnapped by a pedophile comes across a flyer for a missing dog and he comes to the realization that there’s been more of an effort put in to finding a dog instead of him.
What's most memorable about this scene is that this is the first time the young boy shows any real emotion or vulnerability. Due to his circumstances, he gives off a rather empty/dead demeanor in an effort to survive (when you're in his shoes all you can do is remove yourself from reality as best as you can). But in one moment, everything becomes too much and he finally breaks down...

Seizure-inducing intercourse (Hors Satan)
I'm still not sure what to fully make of this scene (or the movie as a whole) but this part, where our Jesus-like character has anonymous (extremely aggressive) sex with a woman, who has a seizure mid-coitus, has been stuck in my head ever since I saw it.

The dance sequences in Attenburg

Bane vs. Batman: Part One (The Dark Knight Rises)
Ok ok ok, listen – I know this movie wasn't that good. The Dark Knight Rises did a backwards domino effect for me and how I view Christopher Nolan’s filmography of convoluted nonsense. But Bane is an underrated villain/character (it's tough to follow Heath Ledger's joker) and I really love this scene...
(I seriously can't stress enough how much I don't want you guys to think I consider The Dark Knight Rises to be a good movie)

Survival... (Essential Killing)
This scene from Jerzy Skolimoski's Essential Killing represents desperation at it's finest. Nothing says survival like holding a random woman at gun point so you can breastfeed from her. After escaping from his captors, who had been torturing him, Vincent Gallo's nameless main character hadn't eaten in days, all while fighting off danger at every turn. In an effort to not die of starvation, he did what he had to do, which is what the film is ultimately about...

"Must be some kind of...Hot Tub Time Machine ..." (Hot Tub Time Machine)


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