jordan peele

The Complex Constructs of Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’

Christopher Karr

Us is murkier and messier and more ambitious. You could intuit as much from the perplexing extended teaser that gave a splashing glance at the evocative, nightmarish imagery. Indeed, Peele’s focus as a visual storyteller has sharpened. He amplifies the more stunning frames in Us with a pulsating score that signals foreboding, menace, and misery. Even a shot as conceptually simple as a blood-red candy apple dropping into the sand sparks waves of meaning. He stages an agonizingly slow zoom-out of countless rabbits in cages so powerfully and confidently that you feel overwhelmed by the palpable dread of unspoken sadism. 

Celebrating the Diversity of the 2019 Oscars

Nsenga K. Burton

Ruth Carter earned a nomination for Best Costume Design and Hanna Beachler is nominated for Best Production Design for Black Panther. It is lovely to see Carter, whose amazing body of work goes back to 1988 with Spike Lee’s School Daze, is finally getting the recognition she deserves, having long been honored in African-American film circles. Beachler’s nomination makes her the first African-American to be recognized in this category. Spike Lee’s first-ever nomination for Best Director for BlacKkKlansman is also history-making.

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