I figured out which blog post I missed. We were remote this day, so I didn’t submit one at the time, but I can relate content from this act of The Gap of Time to our discussion today of Get Out, and the overall theme of content we have studied this semester.
Firstly, down to the title, I feel that the ideas from this novel relate to society today, because America, for being as advanced compared to other countries as it is, seems to have a “gap in time” in terms of the social and political justice issues that have still not been worked out, even after decades of protest.
The overall symbolism of someone losing everything they have because of their own actions reminds me of white blindness in society, and how it is white people and the government they have allowed to manifest inequity even today between rich v. poor and Black v. white Americans. Additionally, the fact that Perdita’s father only is “regifted” with her after he completely transforms his way of thinking goes to show the change necessary in giving “all of America” the betterment it needs.
As my first time watching this movie, I totally understand how widely popular it is. I think the best part of the movie is the slow descent into horror. With the opening scene of Lakeith Stanfield being kidnapped excluded, the better half of the first part of the movie focuses primarily on the subtle racism that Chris experiences. Starting with the first cop scene and moving through the genetic makeup/MMA remark, I felt myself being entirely on edge and that a traditional jumpscare was looming. This is, in my eyes, one of the main points of the movie; that the true horrors committed in this movie derive initially from the subtle racism perpetrated by everyone in the family. I think that this is exactly what Peele was trying to display, that the audience intrinsically feels like Stanfield walking down that street at night; unaware if they are in imminent danger due to the smallest of actions.
After all the bloodshed and as Chris is escaping from the house, another crucial scene in my eyes was Rod pulling up in a cop car. As I saw the lights coming my initial reaction was “oh shit here we go,” as I truly thought that after making it through all of this horror, Chris would be gunned down by a white police officer. One could even see the relief in Rose’s eyes as she instantly begins playing the victim as if she knows the exact same thing. Though it would have been interesting to see this ending play out- in a Black KKKlansman sort of way, I think the sentiment is just the same. Until Rod steps out of the car, the audience is truly unsure if Chris will make it out alive. And I’m positive that if a cop had shown up in Rod’s place, the movie would have ended in an entirely realistic and relevant way.
Pardon my language, but this movie scared the shit out of me. I’ve never felt more unsettled watching something before. I had never seen Get Out before, but I had heard it’s scary and makes you super uncomfortable. In the first five minutes, things felt pretty normal, but you couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off, and that feeling kept getting stronger throughout the entire movie – I was yelling at the TV for Chris to run! I thought that overall, the movie was super well done, and the suspense was building throughout the entire movie, which made it hard to look away. I especially liked the humor at the end, when Rod ended the movie by saying that because he had his TSA detective skills, he could, “consider this fuckin’ handled”. I definitely needed something to make me laugh after that, but didn’t overshadow the dark nature of the movie itself.
I watched this movie with my grandfather, and he said that this movie reminded him of an old movie called The Stepford Wives. The story had the same premise, but it focused on turning women into the ideal “Southern woman”, like a doll. Get Out tackles the same issue but focuses on race-based issues, rather than gender (and adds in the whole hypnosis/medical experimentation thing which I thought was so creepy). I think Jordan Peele does a really good job of highlighting the struggles of a black man in America not centered around something like a big national event or movement, but small scale interactions on a daily basis. It didn’t call out specific racist ideals and values like the klan members in Black KkKlansman, but instead focuses on micro-aggressions that are just as harmful, especially when white people believe that they aren’t racist and they aren’t complicit in the issues facing America.
Unlike most people, I have never seen Get Out before, but it really held up to all the rave reviews I had heard about it. I think what stuck out to me was just how unsettling the whole movie felt. From the first minutes of the movie, there is just a feeling of uncomfortableness that I couldn’t shake, and I think that really helps to drive home the themes of the movie. They are supposed to be uncomfortable but Get Out makes these themes unavoidable. The audience has to confront and think about these ideas, which makes the movie even more powerful.
I think one of the real strengths of Get Out is how it highlights the sort of subtle racism from the liberal white middle class that is becoming more prominent. During our last class over slack, we discussed how the KKK members in The BlacKkKlansman follow the sort of “racist redneck” stereotype but that isn’t really indicative of our society currently. It’s the people who “would vote for Obama a third time if I could” that don’t realize all the different ways that they still hurt or make African Americans uncomfortable. These attitudes tend to breed the belief that white liberals are somehow not racist or complicit for racist actions or policies, which can create a lack of accountability throughout society. It’s something that many people clearly don’t understand or even recognize, and Get Out does a great job at capturing that different form of racism.
I hate hate hate horror movies. Even worse are horror movies that are too close to reality. Get Out is definitely one of those…
That being said, I did like Get Out (as much as a viewer can like it anyway). It starts off so normal. Just a guy shaving in his mirror and a girl buying pastries but after Rose hits the deer I knew that normalcy was over. I like to think I’m a good judge of character and my favorite characters is definitely Chris’ friend Rod. This was a good call on my part considering he saves Chris with his “TSA senses”. Rod brought some comedic relief, but not enough to out weigh the sinister, outright insane parts of the rest of the movie. From Walter (aka Rose’s grandfather) running at Chris, to Georgina (Rose’s grandmother) spontaneously crying and Jeremy (speaks for himself), I caught myself trying not to look but also glued to my screen.
Obviously the movie covers a lot of ground, but I wonder what the movie would be like without the horror aspect of it. In my Global Studies class in high school we read a short story called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” which is basically the same story line: white girl brings her black fiance back home to her wealthy supposedly liberal family who is forced to reckon with their latent racism. I guess for someone who is not much of a horror movie connoisseur, I’m trying to decide whether the horror adds to the story or takes away from it. Does the horror of it all allow viewers to walk away saying “But none of it can be real, no one performs brain surgery like that”. Just an idea I had.
This must be my 100th time watching Get Out and every time I see it, I love it more. I think Jordan Peele does an amazing job of showing the experience of black Americans in a bit of an exaggerated horror/thriller movie setting. However, I do not think that it is too exaggerated. I could tell countless personal or societal anecdotes of fetishization or obsession with black Americans and features such as hair, skin tone, physique, etc. All of the things that viewers are horrified to see because it happens in the setting of a horror movie are daily experiences of black Americans.
For example, look at the auction scene, when Chris’s body is being auctioned off. It’s not that different than the NFL and NBA where hundreds of black men are yearly tested about how high they jump, how much weight they can lift, and how fast they can run, for a white man to pick them to play for their team so they can make billions of dollars and give them a percentage. The “distant” horror that Peele portrays in his movie is not that distant at all.
I’ve seen Get Out a few different times, and each time I notice another piece of symbolism within the movie. Jordan Peele did an amazing job of making the characters so close to real life that it feels like it is taking place in our current world. He masterfully highlights white people’s favorite microaggressions to use, where I want to cringe every time a white person opens their mouth.
Everytime I watch the movie I kind of forget how the movie ends, so when the cop car shows up I have to remind myself that it is his friend coming to save him. When I watched the alternative ending, I felt that it better captured the times that we are currently living in. Peele said that he wrote that ending during the Obama Presidency when people felt that they were living in a post-racial world. I feel that there are many people that want to believe that the Biden Presidency will bring about a similar mindset, and I would rather that white people watch this ending to jolt them out of that mental fog. After the re-popularisation of the BLM movement this summer, I think many people have felt complacent in their activism, and watching the alternative ending forces the viewer to confront the reality that racism is inherent in every system, rather than just in the individual agents.
Watching Get Out for the second time made me pick up on a lot more especially since I was watching the movie this time to analyze it. The first takeaway I had was just the mask of white tolerance, with all its microagressions and gaslighting, but when you dig deeper Peele portrays white society as a conscious facilitator of racism and the dehumanization of black people. Chris had to stay alert to this racism in order to survive, which I believe was the real horror of this movie (aside from the experiments and mind control); black americans surviving in the face of whiteness. I think this is what made this movie distinguish itself from other films that tackle racism in america in the sense that Peele doesn’t focus on a certain event, policy, or era to portray how racism effects black americans, but instead Peele recreates our current racialized society in which black people must navigate on the daily. Additionally, I noticed how the inclusion of medical experiments was not a mistake or a random choice; it speaks to the eugenics movement in america. There was a lot more to unpack in this movie such as the construction of violence and the dangers of white feminism but these are just some of the takeaways I got from this insanely thought-provoking movie.
This wasn’t my first time watching Get Out but it had been a while. Considering the events of this summer, I paid close attention to the interaction between Chris, Rose, and the police officer after they hit the deer. The police officer asked for Chris’s license and Rose started complaining saying he wasn’t even driving and how this was BS but Chris complied. Chris was so calm in this situation and I thought that if the roles were reversed and Chris was the one having an attitude, I doubt they would have been let off so easy.
In the video you posted in Slack, it said, “this movie was meant to call out the fact that racism is still simmering underneath that surface.” That sums up why I think movies that attack the themes of racism are so important. Too often we get caught up in our own lives that we forget about major issues in society. I found it very interesting that the director chose to not use the alternative ending. Thinking of our worlds current climate, I think the alternative ending would have been more powerful and wish he chose to use it — having it cut to six months later with Chris in prison, telling his friend to just give up. It made me thinking of my feelings after watching Blackkklansman and we discussed whether the real life images were more impactful at the beginning or at the end of the movie and I thought the end because it is the final thing we see and leaves the most lasting impression. I think that the ending of Get Out is good but I thought it made things too lighthearted. The alternative ending would bring us more to reality. The video said how this ending was created from a system that values the while people and takes their side.
I thought the movie was powerful in and of itself but watching that Youtube video put things even more in perspective.
The thing that struck me the most about this movie was how funny it was. Believe me, the political commentary and comparisons to our current political climate were not lost on me, but it was amazing how frequently Spike Lee was able to find laughs in this very serious topic. The idea of the movie itself is hilarious, even more so when you remember that it is all based on real people. Infiltrating the KKK as a black man is literally a Chappelle’s Show skit, except they did it in real life! In a way, it’s almost something Spike Lee would come up with as a movie idea, which makes him the perfect director.
The execution of the movie was fantastic too. Lee has such a distinctive style to his directing, especially with his ability to implicitly reference other works throughout his movies. He used the same type of shot from Malcolm X when Ron and Patrice are walking down the hallway. This reminds viewers of Lee’s other movies so they can better understand them in that context. Having John David Washington and Adam Driver play the leads is also an amazing choice; they are two of the most dynamic actors in Hollywood right now. It also carries symbolic value; Washington is the son of Denzel Washington, who played Malcolm X in Lee’s 1992 film of the same name. There is some generational symbolism in this film, as Washington-as-Stallworth must have his own awakening just as Washington-as-Malcolm did as well.
I do quibble with some of the historical accuracies in this film. Of course, movies have to include action and intrigue, but the facts don’t often line up. Flip was not Jewish, nor was there ever an actual bomb. I am willing to accept these details as part of making a movie, but the film is so adamant about being based on a true story. I wish Lee would take a bit more responsibility for altering details.
My final point is this: I’m not sure this movie is well-received in 2020. Why? Cops are the heroes. This movie mentions the complicity of police in mistreatment of black people, but it does not properly acknowledge the complicity of police in far-right, racist, xenophobic, fascist organizations. Systemic racism is not individual groups; systemic racism is racism within the system of law and law enforcement that governs our land. Two years after this movie came out, we are seeing that police are clearly part of the problem. Were they the heroes in this case? Sure, but I think that is an exception, not the rule.