Crime, action, and Jamie Foxx, Baby Driver (2017) is without a doubt the best film I’ve seen this year. Every single part of the film is artistically and cinematically perfect.
After being forced into working for a crime boss, ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort) is led into the life of a getaway car driver. From the first scene his character is quiet and intricate, with a love for music and driving. Having only seen Ansel in films such as The Fault in Our stars (2014) and Divergent (2014) I wasn’t sure how the drama and romance would fit into this crime thriller but he executed it perfectly.
One of my favourite aspects of the film was the way they integrated the use of sound and music. Due to a ringing in his ears Baby listens to music almost 24/7 and Wright has managed to use this completely to his advantage. It becomes almost a personal connection with Baby and the audience with the diegetic and non-diegetic sound as only Baby and us can hear what he is listening to and how this affects the scene. One of my favourite uses of this was in fight scenes as the gun shots were matched with the beat and rhythm of the music. I had never seen this used in a film before and it worked effortlessly, making everything about the scene so much more exciting.
Each of the characters within the film are built beautifully. For example the criminals that he works with, such as the couple ‘Darling’ (Eiza Gonzalez) and ‘Buddy’ (John Hamm) who have a Bonnie and Clyde relationship, Jamie Foxx’s character ‘Bats’ an unstable and reckless criminal. Along with the big boss ‘Doc’ played by Kevin Spacey who has a soft spot for ‘Baby’ and his love interest ‘Debora’.
Normally, I find love stories in films boring and unnecessary, however I couldn’t help but root for ‘Debora’ and ‘Baby’. The integration of the music again worked well but I thought the scenes of them together were adorable and the use of montages and camera movements made their time together seem exciting and real.
Overall, this film is unlike any I have seen before. It is a unique blend of an amazing storyline with the cinematography and sound to match. It used humour, excitement and thrill leaving no boring moments and it is genuinely one of the best films I’ve seen.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out has to be one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Unsurprisingly, it has been trending on twitter since the trailer was released. A film hitting racism head-on and focusing on making ‘white people’ the antagonist would of course gather a lot of attention. I watched the film with the mentality of going to watch a horror which is why I think I left the cinema slightly disappointed as I didn’t find it scary, but after viewing at it from a different perspective and really looking at the small implications and digs within the film, Jordan Peele has done an amazing job.
Get Out is a twisted psychological thriller about a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time to find them almost everything he expected and worse. There are so many comedic elements to the film, one of my favourites being the friend Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery) telling Chris, the protagonist to literally get out of the house and showing huge concern for him throughout the film. I also think that Daniel Kaluuya who plays Chris’s facial expressions were perfect throughout the whole film and always containing a sense of disbelief. Samuel L. Jackson’s comments on a British Actor being unable to portray an African American I found really disappointing and ignorant coming from such a successful actor. However, Giggs response to this was my favourite.
I loved the racial satire throughout the film, such as the scene where Chris is introduced to all of his girlfriend’s family friends and they ask the stereotypical race questions. I also found it funny that when Chris asks a man in the film ‘Why black people?’ he replies ‘I don’t know, man’, literally proving the fact that even people who are being outright racist will never admit it. The horror element of the film was this conception of ‘The Sunken Place’ I didn’t even realise was in fact representing oppression of black people in America which Peele actually explained himself on his twitter.
And he even made a Donald Trump meme about it:
Get Out is an empowering, landmark of a film, which I think will inspire black writers and directors. Slowly but surely new and innovative films are overtaking typical ‘Hollywood’ type films as recent Black films such as Moonlight and Hidden Figures are taking the limelight and even snatching Oscars. Jordan Peele directed this film in all the right ways making it an enjoyable psychological, satirical horror with strong messages which shoves the issue of racism in Hollywood’s face.
I have always thought that using film to create a music video would be a good idea, however you never seem to see it being used for music artists. I was listening to the song Saved by Khalid and it made me think of the movie Medicine For Melancholy so I thought I would create one myself.
Thursday – Medicine For Melancholy
After seeing Moonlight I was intrigued to look at some more of Barry Jenkin’s films and Medicine For Melancholy is the only other film he is well-recognised for. Released in 2008 it is a low budget romantic film about a one-day romance between Micah and Jo, although it is not much of a happy love-story Jenkin’s has chosen to shine a light on particular issues when it comes to interracial relationships and indie culture.
The film opens with Micah and Jo awkwardly leaving a house party after their one night stand, with Jo wanting nothing to do with Micah and him wanting the opposite, their romance begins. Race is involved throughout the film as Micah’s sultry character makes many comments about race in the city of San Francisco and it soon becomes clear that he has an issue with interracial relationships whether it be due to his ending or in general but Jo is affected by this as her boyfriend is white. Later on in their day together they go to an indie rock bar and after this Micah states his issue with the indie subculture and the separation of black people from the culture, Jenkin’s once again brings an underlying issue in black culture to the table.
The colour of the film is dim throughout, almost black and white which killed my optimism of Jo and Micah being together and making me have no choice but to view their situation as dim and hopeless. In Moonlight I noticed that a short montage was made for Kevin’s character in which he breaks the fourth wall and looks directly into the camera and I also noticed it in this film when Micah talks of his profession in the fish tank industry and he looks directly into the camera. I’m not sure why Jenkin’s includes this in his films, but I think it makes the audience feel more personally involved with the character. Jenkin’s has created an interesting, yet quite draining romance with important underlying messages about the relationship between black and white culture.