The English Department’s Literature Concentration recently hosted two screenings of the Academy Award-winning writer-director’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to "Get Out" on Tuesday, April 2 and Friday, April 5 at Southeast Cinema’s Alamance Crossing Stadium 16 theater.
The English Department’s Literature Concentration recently hosted two screenings of "Us," the second film by Jordan Peele, an Academy Award-winning writer and director, on Tuesday, April 2 and Friday, April 5 at Southeast Cinema’s Alamance Crossing Stadium 16 theater.
In "Us," the serenity of a summer beach trip takes an abrupt turn to terror when four mysterious doppelgängers — known as “the Tethered” — inexplicably emerge to confront and menace the Wilson family. Featuring stunning dual performances by Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph, sophomore feature by Peele exceeded the expectations of Elon fans of Peele's 2017 film "Get Out."
As one literature major explained, “Peele’s backstory for this movie’s premise is far deeper than the one created for his previous film. It’s ‘The Sunken Place’ expanded and reimagined as a community space—with its own secret history and legacy.”
“That’s why I probably won’t be sleeping tonight,” another student quickly added.
Following the Friday evening show, Assistant professors Craig Morehead and Dan Burns led an hour-long discussion over coffee with a dozen diehard cinephiles in the Snow Family Grand Atrium in the School of Communications. The conversation focused on a range of topics: from interpreting the Tethered’s subterranean society to Freudian interpretations of “doubling” and “the uncanny” to spotting Peele’s complex layering of intertextual references to other films and literature.
Underscored by the director’s trademark sardonic humor, the film’s creative use of soundtrack, for instance, had recent literature graduate and attendee David Patterson ’18 marveling at one scene’s juxtaposition of The Beach Boys and N.W.A. while also looking up Minnie Riperton song lyrics to better grasp Peele’s final message.
“With all the allusions, pop culture references, and Easter Eggs thrown at the audience,” Patterson said, “we've got our work cut out for us.”
If nothing else, the film’s searing commentary on the polarizing state of U.S. national identity—students and faculty alike agreed—does for “family vacations” what its predecessor did for “meeting the parents.”
Grant funding for this special event was generously provided by the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence.