‘Us’ is a Puzzle Box That Interrogates the American Illusion

The power of great genre films, to me, is that they are able to tackle larger abstractions and broad truths about humanity under layers of subtext, whilst still letting us go through an out of this world, moviegoing experience. When I think of the idea of the doppelganger, a traditional horror/sci-fi staple, the being that looks exactly like ourselves invading our own bubbles, I think of the stories that often seek to shed light on our own insecurities. Invasion of the Body SnatchersPossession, and more recently, Annihilation and Enemy, all films that use this specific symbol are based on a destructive, human feeling; a depressive itch you can’t scratch, the demon on your shoulder telling you that you’re not quite the person you project yourself to be. My relationship with social media in the last few months has made me realize that this imposter syndrome I feel is a mode of my own living, but when I’m aware of it, there lies an insidious feeling in my gut, and my sense of self melts away. All of these concepts were stirred up in my brain once again, but this time, instead of just the focus on the self, there’s a broader statement here about our society as a whole. This is America. This is Us.

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Jordan Peele’s Us is the sophomore follow-up to his Academy-Award winning social horror thriller, Get Out, which took the film landscape by storm. While following up a film like Get Out is an immense amount of pressure, Peele handles it with so much grace. Here he is, channeling that history he made with his debut and recentering the energy into something entirely new. Just add in Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss, and you have a mid-level budget effort that feels so much like an event film of its own. While previously he worked with Blumhouse, which houses a specific model for their films, Peele now has his screenwriting Oscar, a production company of his own, Monkeypaw Productions, and an unhinged amount of ambition to craft yet another social horror film to instigate our worst nightmares and how they blend with our own reality.

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‘BlacKkKlansman’ Brings the Past to the Present

The premise of Spike Lee’s latest sounds so outlandish, it’s crazy to think it’s true. But alas, it simply makes for a more enriching film, both artistically and educationally. Starring John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman follows a lone black police officer, Ron Stallworth, at the Colorado Springs Police Department in the 70s. Stallworth quickly makes waves in his new work environment, and not just because of the color of his skin. After discovering membership material about the Klu Klux Klan, the rookie cop makes a brave yet reckless choice to call the organization’s number and enters the white supremacist circle with help from his white voice. He’s faced with opposition from his team, but eventually gets apprehensive help from Adam Driver’s Flip, who poses as the white Ron Stallworth.

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W Magazine’s Fashion Trilogy

When I woke up on Tuesday, February 20th and did my daily morning scroll on Twitter, I didn’t expect to be blessed with W Magazine’s latest issue on the spring fashion collections directed by three of 2017’s most talented directors–Greta Gerwig, Luca Guadagnino, and Jordan Peele. If their films didn’t show their artistry enough, Bringing insanely creative point-of-views to their respective spreads, the directors of this awards’ season’s most popular films, Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name and Get Out, combined film and fashion’s distinct powers to create stories that seem as if only they could make it happen.

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