*Apparently “Get Out” is a comedy.
Was it funny when Lil Rey’s character, Rod, rescues Daniel Kaluuya’s character, Chris, and immediately says “I told you not to go?” Yes of course it was. And, was it funny when Chris is fighting his way out of a house where he was going to undergo a brain transplant? Of course not. But what about the grey area where characters are sprinting in the middle of the night, smugly protecting their mate, or professing their love for past presidents? Were you laughing when you viewed those scenes?
Universal Pictures has done everyone a disservice by submitting this film for consideration in the comedy/musical category for the Golden Globes because, quite simply, it isn’t that funny. But my indignation rises when I look back at the movie and realize it wasn’t even supposed to be that funny.
I am not a Hollywood insider but apparently the people at Universal Pictures played a common gambit and allowed the film to go into the comedy/musical category so that it might get more critical acclaim with lesser competition. I can understand their way of thinking. Get Out was a suspenseful, horror based film that had moments of comedy, and would probably have had a difficult time against movies like Dunkirk in the drama category. But by allowing, in fact encouraging, people to view it as a comedy Universal Pictures is trivializing the content of the film. Comedies are lighthearted. Comedies are supposed to be laughed at. Comedies are supposed to end with neat resolutions and no unanswered questions. Get Out does not fit such a description. Even with a premise as fantastic as brain transplants, Get Out is a movie about race and racism at its core and it is upsetting that the people in charge of the film believe it prudent to laugh at the issue.
Jordan Peele has worked as a comedian for most of his adult life. Before this film he would most likely have been referenced as half of Key and Peele, a comedy team that had a successful sketch show on Comedy Central. So when it was announced that Jordan Peele was directing a film, most people probably expected more comedy; I certainly did. Nevertheless it doesn’t take long before you realize the film Is not lighthearted. The first scene is of a person lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood who is subsequently abducted. To look past the content of the film and classify it based on the director’s past work is to assert that he can never move beyond his comedic background. Because if this film doesn’t convince you he’s more than a comedian, no film will.
This situation slightly reminds me of the path Jim Carrey ventured down in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Having been extremely successful as a comedian and leading actor in comedic films, Carrey began to take on more dramatic roles. But to some degree he was typecast already. Because Carrey has such comedic timing it seemed as if audiences were waiting for the next joke instead of appreciating his dramatic performances on their own merit. It looks as if Peele will have to fight a similar battle – and one he is already failing at. He allegedly was initially supportive of the classification but more recently has been joking about the fact that the film is not easily pinned down into a genre.
I disagree. The film clearly belongs to “suspense.” And if Peele is not interested in solidifying his ability to work outside of comedy, so be it. Perhaps his work will speak for itself and he will be able to continue jumping back and forth. But I do believe that this film was important enough, and the topic important enough that he should have put more effort into its labeling. After all Peele himself said one of the reasons he made it was because of the undercurrent of racism that helped elect our president.
When Get Out became a cultural phenomenon earlier this year, when all of your friends told you to see it or when you talked about it, when it was reported on, was conversation about all of sidesplitting laughter? Of course not. And that’s why this categorization just isn’t funny.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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