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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Mr Sausage wrote:
Magic Hate Ball wrote:
I think I kind of get what they're saying - the best aspects of the film are the "sketch comedy of menace" parts that tackle subtler, insidious aspects of racism, so when the film turns to a larger, more easily accessible threat the prickly, surreal edge is softened.

This would make sense if what he were talking about were a major, integral plot point, and not a small bit at the end.

Right, and thankfully it's essentially a (funny and effective) twist gag - what they might mean is that they wish it had concluded by building on the element of subtle racism, rather than diverting to a broader joke about cops, which is a bigger and less nuanced target, but I'm just theorizing.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:38 pm 
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FYI it's my understanding that Peele's original ending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
had actual cops show up and the protagonist was arrested, but content that he'd stopped the body-swapping. I think he was smart enough to listen to test audiences and reshoot a "happy" ending that subverts the above


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Magic Hate Ball wrote:
Mr Sausage wrote:
Magic Hate Ball wrote:
I think I kind of get what they're saying - the best aspects of the film are the "sketch comedy of menace" parts that tackle subtler, insidious aspects of racism, so when the film turns to a larger, more easily accessible threat the prickly, surreal edge is softened.

This would make sense if what he were talking about were a major, integral plot point, and not a small bit at the end.

Right, and thankfully it's essentially a (funny and effective) twist gag - what they might mean is that they wish it had concluded by building on the element of subtle racism, rather than diverting to a broader joke about cops, which is a bigger and less nuanced target, but I'm just theorizing.

In a film with a house blowing up and everyone being shot to death, picking on a toss-off gag as the point at which things become obvious and unsubtle makes little sense to me, but then it seems you and I agree on that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:56 pm 
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I'll try one more time and then will stop. It starts to be silly for me to have to explain this so many times. If I haven't been able to make myself clear so far, I probably won't ever be able to on this one, and I know I'll have to over simplify my words to do so, which will make things even worse (and I'm starting to think my English is way worse than I think it is, having to explain for so long something that feels so simple to me).

I'm discussing this minor point because HTS singled the police scenes out as being more effective for him then other elements used in the movie. It just happened I felt quite the opposite (especially the first scene).

On screen, the first scene with a racist white cop harassing a black guy for no reason felt like something I saw 10 times already. It thus wasn't as effective and uneasing to me than other references made by Peele later in the movie. I found these other elements and references at least more original (and uneasing) than the police harassing for no reason a black guy, but also probably subtler too. Magic Hate Ball is quite correct with his theory.

There's nothing more to the point I wanted to make than this : I just felt like I've seen this racist cop elsewhere too many times for it to be effective for me, making it thus a less interesting part of the movie to me. It felt like an easy target that's been shown in other movies or TV shows plenty of times already.

I have less complaints about the ending scene, though again, that's not what I'll remember the movie for.

Mr Sausage wrote:
That and what aox said: what exactly is this being rehashed from?

Movies like Crash, Rampart, Fruitvale Station, The Hurricane, Q&A for instance, I guess.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:17 pm 
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tenia wrote:
On screen, the first scene with a racist white cop harassing a black guy for no reason felt to me like something I saw 10 times already. It thus wasn't as effective and uneasing to me than other references made by Peele. I found these other elements and references at least more original (and uneasing) than the police harassing for no reason a black guy.
This may be contributing to the confusion: that’s not the first scene. The first scene is Lakeith Stanfield walking alone in a lily-white suburban neighborhood acting exactly as nervous and out of place as the stereotype of an upper middle class white guy alone in the South Bronx in a Death Wish sequel... and then his anxiety is justified by the kind of seemingly random, unprovoked attack those racially reversed films love(d?) to indulge in.

I personally feel this scene is more effective than the one you reference, but that police harassment scene is vital for establishing Chris’ passivity and his girlfriend’s commitment to the woke act.


Last edited by DarkImbecile on Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:21 pm 
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I actually think that opening scene is better than anything else in the film for the reasons you describe-- "Not today, not today"-- and is impressively filmed in one long take to boot. It's a sequence that sells me far more on Peele's obvious talent than some of the other elements in the picture that get trotted out in his defense.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:28 pm 
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By writing "the first and last scene", I thought HTS was talking about both the early and the later police scene.
If that wasnt the case and I got confused and then fed the confusion, I'm sorry.


The pre credits scene, reminding Halloween and Eric Garner's death while indeed reversing the usual "white guy lost in a black ghetto" is, however, extremely effective, on top of being very well crafted (I loved the circular movement of the camera revealing it's actually not following Andre but the car).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:34 pm 
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tenia wrote:
On screen, the first scene with a racist white cop harassing a black guy for no reason felt like something I saw 10 times already. It thus wasn't as effective and uneasing to me than other references made by Peele later in the movie. I found these other elements and references at least more original (and uneasing) than the police harassing for no reason a black guy, but also probably subtler too. Magic Hate Ball is quite correct with his theory.

One of the interesting things about that first moment with the cop is that he's not outwardly harassing anyone. There's nothing obviously belligerent or racially motivated about it, just a lingering feeling. The real purpose of this scene is not the cop, tho', it's the girlfriend's reaction vs her boyfriend's passivity, and the way that her reaction reflects a certain ignorance and privilege in its defiant anti-racism, which introduces nicely a theme that recurs throughout the first and second acts: white people's awkward attempts to address racism being revealed to be subtly (and in some cases, not subtly) racist. I thought the scene effective and well-observed. It's too bad you can't look past the presence of a familiar trope to what the movie does with it.

I'll second everyone's praise for the opening long take. It's no small skill to take a location that few associate with violence and danger and make it fraught with menace and unease.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:44 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken, the cop does ask Chris to get out of the car for no other visible reason than him being black, but fair enough.
Mr Sausage wrote:
The real purpose of this scene is not the cop, tho', it's the girlfriend's reaction vs her boyfriend's passivity, and the way that her reaction reflects a certain ignorance and privilege in its defiant anti-racism, which introduces nicely a theme that recurs throughout the first and second acts: white people's awkward attempts to address racism being revealed to be subtly (and in some cases, not subtly) racist. I thought the scene effective and well-observed. It's too bad you can't look past the presence of a familiar trope to what the movie does with it.

Fair enough. The worst is that I saw and understood what you describe, but yeah, was more (a bit stupidly, probably) focused on the familiar trope and overlooked the more interesting part of the scene because of this.


Last edited by tenia on Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:05 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
FYI it's my understanding that Peele's original ending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
had actual cops show up and the protagonist was arrested, but content that he'd stopped the body-swapping. I think he was smart enough to listen to test audiences and reshoot a "happy" ending that subverts the above

I do think it may have been a more interesting ending if
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Kaluuya's character had feared the person in the cop car enough to shoot before discovering too late that it was actually his friend.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:37 pm 
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That would pretty radically effect some of the elements of the film's allegory though, no?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:54 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
I mostly just think it would add a kind of reality check to his cathartic rampage at the end, warning of the possibility of collateral damage/illustrating how the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction. Not that that would have any relevance in today's society...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:34 am 
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tenia wrote:
By writing "the first and last scene", I thought HTS was talking about both the early and the later police scene.
If that wasnt the case and I got confused and then fed the confusion, I'm sorry.

DarkImbecile is correct, I was referring to the very first scene, with Stanfield anxiously walking alone, though he and Mr Sausage are also spot-on about the early police scene that occurs later on.
swo17 wrote:
I do think it may have been a more interesting ending if
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Kaluuya's character had feared the person in the cop car enough to shoot before discovering too late that it was actually his friend.

My first reaction to this would be that it feels dishonest.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Again, looking at how racial tensions with police have escalated during the past few years, a lot of it was driven by incidents where African-Americans are continuously shot, even when they've done everything they can to avoid being shot. The progression would be comical if it weren't for the tragic results. First there was Michael Brown, but we had to allow for some doubt. Then there was actual video footage with Eric Garner, but the response was that he resisted arrest. Eventually we had incidents where there was no real sign of resistance, and some people had the gall to say that it was a cop's reflexive response conditioned by the dangers they face every day, and the victim should have done something like alert the officer he had a gun or put his hands in the air. Then we had incidents where victims did indeed do such things, and they were still shot. In one case, a social worker got on his back and put his hands in the air and was shot - luckily it wasn't fatal, but he asked the police officer "why did you shoot me?" and the only response he got was "I don't know." Apologies for spilling these out in a virtual list, but you have to understand if one has a very fresh memory of so many similar incidents, the idea of watching an African-American character attempt to kill an officer in this manner feels like something a very right-wing political commentator would write to back up their earlier defenses.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:06 pm 
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hearthesilence wrote:
tenia wrote:
By writing "the first and last scene", I thought HTS was talking about both the early and the later police scene.
If that wasnt the case and I got confused and then fed the confusion, I'm sorry.

DarkImbecile is correct, I was referring to the very first scene, with Stanfield anxiously walking alone

Then in this case, I'm sorry for all the confusion I created here.


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