Watch Jordan Peele Discuss “Get Out” With a UCLA Class

It’s probably a special treat for this UCLA class to discuss the film Get Out with its director, Jordan Peele. It’s not often that directors just walk into classroom in order to discuss their movies and what it took to make them. Get Out was a very provocative film and the students picked up on this just like anyone else, quizzing Peele on just how he managed to come up with a movie that was thought-provoking and at the same time accepted by the varied audiences. The questions were typically about what it took to create a movie that didn’t flat out attack white people but to give a very antagonistic example of what could possibly happen in a given situation.

When you look at the movie it really seems like Peele is attacking white people in a number of ways, but if you look at it even further you can realize that he’s creating a sort of parody within the movie that still aligns with the horror/thriller aspect of it. There’s no serious degradation along racial boundaries, but instead he’s trying to raise the overall consciousness of those that watch the movies. He’s attempting to make those who don’t share the black experience understand that African-Americans are not all angry people, that they are much deeper than all that, but that they are all being tested on a continual basis in order to see whether or not they will be judged by the color of their skin or by the things they accomplish. There’s a great deal that can be extrapolated from this movie and this one discussion isn’t nearly enough to get it all.

However, he does a fairly good job of explaining his methods and giving a good account of his intentions. He couldn’t make a movie for just black people, as he says, but he couldn’t make the movie without being attentive to black people either. At times his speech seems to indicate that the systems set in place for so long have disadvantaged those of color and those of different races. At that point being white seems to mean that your skin color tells a tale of how you stand outside the sunken place that the movie describes, the hopelessness that comes from being marginalized. It’s a very good point really, but it runs the risk of alienating a good part of the audience that would want to watch the movie. Unfortunately it would likely upset a lot of white folks that can’t look past this story and believe that it was an open and forward attack.

It’s a movie. It’s a powerful movie, and meaningful, but it’s not an attack. Peele does a good job of explaining why he made Get Out the way he did, and definitely goes into great detail when it comes to explaining the motives behind his film. Get Out was a masterfully done thriller and besides the racial undertones that drove it the film was something special that most people should be able to enjoy.

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