With all the news about Kanye West being in the sunken place, I wanted to talk about Get Out, because it’s honestly one of the best movies I’ve seen this decade. I also didn’t want to feed into Kanye’s promotional bullshit because fuck that.
Although writing that sentence I just realized it’s a bit contradictory to say I’m not gonna talk about Kanye but to say I’m not talking about Kanye is, in fact, talking about Kanye….my head hurts.
Anyways let’s talk about 2017 best picture winner get ou-oh wait never mind the Fish Humping movie won that one…ok moving on.
Get Out was revered by critics upon release, even today currently holding a 99% on the film aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes. Met with critical acclaim, Get Out is the first in what Jordan Peele classifies as a “Social Thriller” genre, with the main character in this film dealing with everyday struggles of being a minority and trying to fit into uncomfortable social elements.
Get Out is a layered film, with many meanings behind it, mainly focusing on the topics of politics, and racism in modern society. While the film is entertaining, it’s deeper messages and tones rooted in the story are a dark reflection of America’s past and present.
Throughout the history of cinema, films have always had a difficult relationship with mixing in politics and entertainment. Many people used to believe that the cinema was a place to escape the real world, not reflect upon it. Before politically charged movies were largely represented films in the Academy Awards, integrating political ideologies into films was a difficult task that only few film makers could do.
“How do you convey ideas about such abstract matters as relationships between groups of people and institutions, or about ideological philosophies, without losing drama and audience interest? How do you communicate a point of view without resorting to propagandistic distortions?” wrote Robert Sklar of the NY Times.
In Sklar’s piece about Politics in Film he points to a film called “Salt of the Earth” which was banned across the U.S during its theatrical run due to potential communist propaganda when in actuality the point of that film was to advocate for collective political action.
Therein lies the problem with having a movie rooted in deeper meanings. The essence of the film can be misconstrued very easily, or in other cases, the point of the film will just beat the audience over the head with the message it is trying to portray.
This is what made Get Out such a pivotal film for this generation, the subtlety of relaying a message so important, so crucial in this current political climate and to do so while keeping audiences engaged and interested in the characters.
Unlike other directors, Peele uses this sort of nuance to lead audiences to make connections and see the parallels for themselves, he doesn’t go the “12 Years a Slave” route and where the message of the film be so blatantly obvious. Every suspenseful moment, every cry from the audience is earned and every meaning behind the film is slowly constructed and built upon for the audience to make their own interpretation of the film and to see the message behind it for themselves.
The film highlights the aspect of subtle racism, this is not a Tarantino film where the N word is being dropped In between every other sentence, the word is not used in the film at all. The key takeaway is that racism comes in many different forms, and it’s the subtlety that is most common.
There are many examples of this throughout the film such as people bringing up how they voted for Obama, a former Golfer wedging in the fact that he knew Tiger Woods into a conversation with Chris, and even the token minority among their group. All of these instances drives the point Peele was attempting to make with the film.
“I began working on the film during the post-Obama election in 08, I felt that the nation decided that once a black man was elected president the country was like ‘okay, we solved the race problem’ when that was not the case.” Due to the timing of the film’s release, many believed it to be a response to the 2016 presidential election and the events leading up to it, and while that is somewhat of a coincidence, Peele strongly states that the film took no inspiration to a post-Trump election despite the timing.
Despite not being a reactionary project to the 2016 election, Get Out’s timing was incredible, as again it came after Trump’s victory and six months after the film’s release, the rallies in Charlottesville took place. These rallies’ followed the alt-right, a group of people who believe they are fighting for the survival of their own race, of white people….that was a real thing that happened.
This was seen as the biggest white nationalist rally in over ten years, and featured guest speakers ranging from KKK members, neo-nazis and even political influencers such as Jason Kessler, and Richard Spencer, who organized the event which I guess would make them KKK members and neo-Nazis? I don’t know either way they’re pieces of shit.
This gathering was a collection of all the hate groups rooted in America that lived in the shadows and dark corners of the internet until Trump took office. A vice land documentary followed the protest and recorded what these people were saying, which included hate speech, threats of violence and terrorist acts, and attempting to denounce the black lives matter movement.
The people that belong to this collective are mostly uneducated and thus are easily persuaded by the rhetoric of the likes of David Duke, Jason Kessler and the other influencers in this rally. While this way of thinking has existed for decades in America, it has recently become less of a movement and more of a full force political activism, and I struggle to call it political activism but I digress.
This is what Peele was alluding to when he addressed the fact that we were never in a post-racial world, these people are disparaging minorities to this day and even more so in the current political climate with a president that does not denounce racism, and that was the point of the film Get Out, that no matter what we will never be in a post-racial world.
In a way, the character of Logan, who is mentioned earlier as the token minority of the group, represents that sense of being shielded from racist accusations. The people at the party depicted America, and Logan was Obama, a colored man among them that made them feel safe from the word racist and assured that they were believers in equality.
Get Out for me goes down as one of the best movies of the 2010s, and I still can’t believe a movie about a woman fucking a fish won Best Picture over it, but I guess a film like this even being nominated by an Academy filled with people who look like the Armitage’s party goers is an achievement in its own right.
Get Out was a true theatrical experience and I’m grateful I was around to see it in the theatre and to witness its cultural impact.
Thanks for reading. Tweet to @ZachDonPaul if you’re like me and you enjoyed the movie about the woman banging the fish. Also, go ahead and throw Deadseriousness a Like on Facebook so that I can keep the lights on around here at HQ.