Welcome back to Top Five Tuesday, the cinematic countdown that wows 'em town-to-town. Farm living is the life for us on the blog this week, as we celebrate this Friday's release of The Biggest Little Farm (TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW) by counting down...
THE TOP FIVE CINEMATIC FARMS!
1.Signs – Little Green Children of the Corn
(dir. M. Night Shymalan | USA | 2002)
Say what you will about the M. Night Shyamalan oeuvre (I’ll start: The Happening is unheralded genius), but one can’t argue that he milked the farmhouse setting of this alien invasion tale for every last tension-building drop. There are sequences here that play like a hybrid of Hitchcock and Spielberg (comedic family drama playing against an apocalyptic siege that reminds of The Birds) – M. Night has a hell of a sense of humor when he indulges that impulse (Gibson’s delivery of “I’m insane with anger” is priceless), and if not for some…choices made it in the late stages of this movie, it would be an all-timer – put it in the my personal “Icarus All-Stars” lineup alongside Sunshine.
2. Days of Heaven – Day/Night of the Locusts
(dir. Terence Malick | USA | 1978)
(to the tune of Mele Kalikimaka)
Malick’s amazing movies is the thing to say
Shooting Magic Hour footage every day
That’s the film nerd greeting that we send to you
from the land where wheat fields sway
filled with timeless scenes imbued with golden light
Contemplatively capturing a love triangle's plight
Malick’s amazing movies is MKE Film's way
to say Top Five Tuesday to you
The most bucolic entry in this list (unless you get super horned up for locust swarms), this slice of perfection (a delightful #MFF15 alum) follows the trials and tribulations of a gallant pig as he tries to make his way on the Hoggett family farm. It manages to embrace nature in all of its injurious glory while remaining a gentle family-friendly story of perseverance. Bonus note: James Cromwell is Milwaukee Film’s beloved woke grandpa, and we demand a Cromwell/Sam Neill animal-loving crossover.
4. Star Wars aka Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Getting’ Moist on Tatooine
(dir. George Lucas | USA | 1977)
Let us not forget the humble moisture-farming origins of Luke Skywalker in his teen years, helping Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru harvest water from the dry, arid Tatooine landscape. Before being swept into an epic, space-faring adventure, this was a story about a dude who helped his uncle suck sky-water.
5. Demented Death Farm Massacre - Keep Olen, Olen, Olen, Olen (What?)
(dirs. Donn Davison, Fred Olen Ray | USA | 1971/1986)
How am I going to pass up the opportunity to place this title on the list? Originally released on the drive-in circuit as Shantytown Honeymoon, b-movie maven Fred Olen Ray bought the picture and filmed some new scenes featuring cult icon John Carradine as a narrator dubbed “The Judge of Hell”, renaming it the slightly more evocative Demented Death Farm Massacre…the Movie (not to be confused with Demented Death Farm Massacre…the Opera or Demented Death Farm Massacre…the Breakfast Cereal) to turn an easy buck. And ISN’T IT YOUR LUCKY DAY, DDFM..tM is available in its entirety for you to view here courtesy of Troma! Don’t say we never gave you anything.