Thursday, March 02, 2017

Cinematic Corn: Oz, Twister, Signs, Interstellar, and More

Bill Paxton died on Saturday, February 25, 2017. A well-known actor in many famous movies, the film most news organizations mentioned was Twister (1996).

The 89th Academy Awards were held the day after Paxton died, on Sunday night, February 26, 2017. During the In Memoriam segment, Jennifer Aniston paid tribute to Bill Paxton verbally, as it apparently was too late to put in the actual In Memoriam section.

At the Oscars, for the last award, "Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway came onstage to present the award for Best Picture, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde." What ensued was a first-of-kind Best Picture mixup. Few remembered the nod to Paxton.

As I discuss below, a dot connecting Bonnie and Clyde to Twister goes through a cornfield.

One of the intriguing points of interest for synchromystic analysts is the appearance of a clip of the Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining (1980) in Twister. Perhaps we need to look more closely at Twister? There is more here than meets the eye.

The tricycle scene in which Danny sees the Grady girls and the "here's Johnny" scene are seen on a drive-in theatre screen in Twister just before a tornado rips the screen down. An EF-5 tornado is barreling down on the drive-in screen, and tears it apart, as the characters played by Bill Paxton and others go for shelter.

There are some strange things that have happened in the wake of some Twister-related incidents.

On May 24, 1996, a tornado destroyed Screen #3 at the Can-View Drive-In, a drive-in theater in Thorold, Ontario, which was scheduled to show the movie Twister later that evening, in a real-life parallel to a scene in the film Twister in which a tornado destroys a drive-in during a showing of the film The Shining. The facts of this incident were exaggerated into an urban legend that the theater was actually playing Twister during the tornado. Source.

Almost immediately after Bill Paxton died, winter tornadoes broke out across the country late in February 2017.

Here is a quick overview:
Massachusetts saw its first February tornado in recorded history over the weekend, as a storm with winds of up to 110 miles per hour hit Conway and Goshen on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Source.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado with winds up to 110 mph touched down in western Massachusetts. Meteorologists say the EF-1 tornado touched down Saturday evening [February 26, 2017] in Conway in Franklin County. Source.
From the ground, it can be difficult to appreciate the size and scope of damage wrought by the winding, wicked path of [February 28, 2017] Tuesday evening's tornadoes.
The first emergency calls came from County Road 806 a little after 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
The tornado crossed the interstate and took out about half of the 20 or so homes homes near Moore Drive. Then, the twister crossed Highway 51 next taking the tops off grain silos and more homes near County Roads 206, 208, and Allen Landings Road. Source.
Three confirmed tornadoes touched down in southern Michigan Tuesday evening, February 28, 2017. The tornadoes touched down between 8:54 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. February 28, 2017. All of the tornadoes have been rated by the National Weather Service as EF-1 tornadoes....It is very strange for one tornado in February in Michigan. Three tornadoes touching down in February is incredible. Source.

At least three [updated to four] people were killed in Illinois and Missouri in Tuesday's [February 28, 2017] storms. Others were injured, and cars were left scattered on highways. Source.

The two day severe weather outbreak has now ended but the clean-up has just begun for residents across eight US states.
From Tuesday night [February 28, 2017] into Wednesday [March 1, 2017], 27 tornadoes were reported across Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia with at least three people reported dead.
The heaviest storm damage looks to have been from a tornado that struck parts of Perryville, Missouri, about 105km south-southeast of St Louis. This tornado has been given a preliminary EF3 rating. Source.
One of the sync reflections I began to see was the revealing role of cornfields in the backgrounds of various films of note.

Shining (1980) shows up in Twister (1996).

Shining has a maze. Maze = maize = corn.

Twister is filled with cornfield scenes.

Oh, by the way, if you don't remember: Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was in Twister, died February 2, 2014.

On May 10, 2010, a tornado struck Fairfax, Oklahoma, destroying the farmhouse where numerous scenes in Twister were shot. J. Berry Harrison, the owner of the home and a former Oklahoma state senator, commented that the tornado appeared eerily similar to the fictitious one in the film. He had lived in the home since 1978. Source.

Once you start looking, there are cornfields everywhere.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, an American children's novel written by author L. Frank Baum, originally published in 1900.

North by Northwest (1959) 

Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock sprinkled corn throughout North by Northwest and Psycho. In Psycho, Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins) nibbles on candy corn throughout the movie. In one scene, Bates is shown holding the bag (called "Kandy Korn").

Twilight Zone 3: 8, whole episode 73, November 3, 1961. “It’s a Good Life.” Based a short story of the same name by Jerome Bixby.
In the fictional town of Peaksville, Ohio, there’s a little boy who banishes anyone thinking unhappy thoughts into the otherworldly cornfield from which there is no return.
"…This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He's six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you'd better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.”

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

As noted on one cinema blog:
#42: Bonnie and ClydeA major turning point comes when Bonnie's homesickness takes over and she demands to see her mama. She attempts to make a break for it, but Clyde chases her down and they cling to each other (each for different reasons) in a corn field. The shot above is lovely -- it's the autumn of their relationship.

Planet of the Apes (1968) is loosely based on Pierre Boulle's 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Children of the Corn (1984) is based on Stephen King's 1977 short story of the same name.

Ever since the film Children of the Corn was released in 1984, cornfields have taken on an extra layer of creepiness unequaled by say, an apple orchard or even a pumpkin patch. Source.

Several sequels of Children of the Corn followed.

He began to walk in that direction, not having to bull through the corn any more. The row was taking him in the direction he wanted to go, naturally. The row ended up ahead. Ended? No, emptied out into some sort of clearing...— Stephen King, Children of the Corn

Field of Dreams (1989) is adapted from W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe (1982).

Patrick Stewart, in 2016, was congratulated by Major League Baseball for his Field of Dreams-like tweet.

Dances with Wolves (1990) is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake.
In 1863, First Lieutenant John J. Dunbar is wounded in battle at St. David's Field in Tennessee. Choosing death in battle over amputation of his leg, he takes a horse and rides up to and along the Confederate lines. Source.

At the beginning of the film, Dunbar appears as "a Christ figure and sacrificial lamb" with the Confederate side's cornfield in the background. Source.

Fearless (1993) is based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Rafael Yglesias.

Casino (1995) is based on the non-fiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi.

Pocahontas (1995)

The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)

Smallville (2001- )

Smallville, "Lazarus," Season 10 (2010)

Jeepers Creepers (2001), takes its name from the 1938 song Jeepers Creepers, a minced oath euphemism for Jesus Christ, which predates both the song and film.

Notice the shirt?

Bannon? This is in reference to Jeepers Creepers' fictional Bannon High School in Florida. In 2017, the name Bannon takes on new meaning. Steve Bannon (born November 27, 1953) is an American former banker, ex-Breitbart News executive chairman and filmmaker, who is currently serving as assistant to the President and White House chief strategist in the Trump administration.

Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Signs (2002)

What's in the corn?

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Carnivàle (HBO, September 14, 2003 and March 27, 2005).

During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

Superman Returns (2006)

Star Trek (2009)

The Informant! (2009)

Personal sync: The film is set in my hometown, Decatur, Illinois, at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), which transforms crops such as corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into food, feed, and agriculturally derived fuels and chemicals. This docudrama was about ADM's price-fixing of a corn by-product, lysine.

Husk (2011)

The Fields (2012)

Looper (2012) ~ While some commentary has lumped this movie in with the "corn" collection, it appears the scenes were done next to sugar cane fields. See here.

Man of Steel (2013)

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

The Maze Runner (2014), recall the name game is overt here: maze = maize.

The Judge (2014) 

The Judge includes overhead footage of Indiana cornfields…. Source.

Interstellar (2014)
While Christopher Nolan had to rely upon CGI for Interstellar's space scenes, the 44-year-old was adamant not to do the same here on earth.
In order to realistically portray the farm featured in the film, Nolan had production designer Nathan Crowley plant 500-acres of corn, drawing inspiration from another director's recent success with the crop.
"Luckily, [director] Zack [Snyder] had grown a bunch of corn, so I said, 'How much can you really grow practically?'" he told The Hollywood Reporter. "And they had done a couple hundred acres [for Man of Steel], so we looked into it; we found that where we wanted to build our farmhouse really close to the mountains [outside] Calgary. In the end, we got a pretty good crop, and we actually made money on this." Source.
As Red Dirt Report editor Andrew W. Griffin remembered on November 11, 2014, "Just yesterday, a possible GOP presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, noted on a radio show, in an 'aw-shucks' manner, that he is just a guy who 'grew up in a cornfield.'"

Then in 2015...

In...the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending, a sci-fi adventure about intergalactic eugenics (or something), seemingly without much reason to set foot in a cornfield — and yet the movie’s trailer takes an inexplicable detour into what looks like Iowa farm country. Likewise,...Fantastic Four reboot was another unnecessarily husk-filled teaser. Source.

Emerald City (2016)

Logan (2017)

So the frivolity and silliness that mars most of the X-Men movies — those corny battles with innumerable mutants hurling stuff this way and that — is now replaced with a much more compelling, somber tone that gives “Logan” some heft. There is a quiet sequence in a farming community where, for instance, the movie stops to contemplate the satisfactions of authentic person-to-person relationships over technology. A cornfield where the plants are grown solely to be turned into corn syrup serves as an able metaphor for bland, mass-produced, drug-like entertainment — and also ties neatly into the fell plan advanced by the Grant character, who seeks to alter human nature for his own profit. ~ New York Post review.

Is that corn in the background? Lady in the Water (2006).


As I was finishing this, I discovered a two-year-old essay asked, "Is Corn Behind All of our Blockbusters?" It observed:
Corn is the secret ingredient in so much of our food — but increasingly, it's also the secret ingredient in many of our tentpole movies. Source.
Synchromystics have a few ideas about corn being a source of the hidden - and the secrets. We have not even gone into the corn within Michael Hoffman's cereal killers or dealt with the in-depth name game discussions so many have done of Oz or Red Dirt Report'd a look at maizes and mazes

Movies are stories as a form of twilight language. Decode what you are being shown.

For now, look to the films, the twisters, and the precursors of coming events all around you for more.


Please, also, watch “(Pop) Corn Fields Films” by Nicolas Sanchez on Vimeo. (h/t to AWG)

It gives you visuals, without commentary, of many cinematic corn classics.


JP said...


I remember a french picture named "canicule"/"dog day" (1984), with Lee Marvin, taking place in La Beauce.

Cade F.O.N Apollyon said...

This one may be a stretch for some, but the "Bannon" reference makes me think of Dan O'Bannon of "Alien", "Dark Star", "Return of The Living Dead", "Heavy Metal" and "Total Recall" fame.

His role of "Pinback" in the movie "Dark Star" has always been a great inspiration to me personally. That even outcasts can thrive, even tho they do not fit in. They just, fit in "in the normal" when and where needed, and can pretty much thrive as well as anyone when alone...and even, when not alone.

Andrew said...

Another great post. One of the cities seriously affected by the recent outbreak of tornadoes in the Midwest was Perryville, Missouri. The damage, locals said (according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) was "like a bomb went off." I note Perryville specifically because it is "ground zero" for the "Great American Eclipse of 2017."

Andrew said...

NAME GAME: One other thing ... the epicenter in Perryville was on "Moore" Drive. Moore is a suburb of Oklahoma City, where i live, and is always the target of some of the worst tornadoes in the country, including the famously deadly one of 2013.

J. Foreman said...

Living in Northern Illinois, I see a lot of corn throughout the spring, summer, and fall. One interesting aspect of corn is its ability to become polyploid through hybridization. As an example, some of the feed corn seen is diploid (one set of genes from each parent), just like humans and most other eukaryotes. We have, since first domesticating maize, contributed to its taking on extra sets of chromosomes so as to make it bigger, sweeter, and easier to harvest. Much of the sweet corn we eat is tetraploid, which means it has four distinct sets of chromosomes.

The point of this is that one method of possibly creating new larger or more specialized human species may be by encouraging polyploidy, or multiple sets of genes from a larger parent group. Only one mammal has been found to be fully polyploid, and it is a rat that lives in South America. It has larger organs than its diploid "relations". In humans, it would mean gene redundancy, which would limit the effects of gene mutation over time from radiation, as well as possible asexual reproduction. These would seem to be qualities that could have meaning for future humans sent on a space mission to another solar system.

Is this what these movie scenes are foreshadowing, a new form of human for space colonization?

Dan McGuire said...

Loren, so many syncs are going through my mind reading all this, I can't help but to mention a very heavy handed and sync filled movie, "Fearless" with Jeff Bridges as a plane crash survivor. Just the opening, of all the survivors exiting through a cornfield after the plane crash, is haunting enough!

Eire said...

In addition to the already mentioned films, a cornfield was used prominently in 1982's "E.T." when Elliott has his first fleeting run-in with the title creature.

beakie said...

Brings to mind "the Cornfield", aka Miller's Cornfield, a locus of "American carnage".

Frank said...

And a darker story today -the death of Rosemary's Baby, Genesis CORNejo, connected with Satanism by illegal aliens in Houston, Texas.

Andrew said...

That cornfield scene at the end of "Carnivale" is epic and eerie. So many wild examples. So glad you included that "Dances With Wolves" scene. I just "stumbled" on that one by, well, accident ... ;-)

J Lens said...

Loren already mentioned E.T....

J Lens said...

Loren already mentioned E.T in the roll call of corny films actually.