New York City, NY — by Yas Akdag, Isabella Armus, JP Pak, and Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
“Get Out” directed by Jordan Peele
If you’re looking for an excuse to never date, Jordan Peele’s psychological thriller “Get Out” is a pretty good one. The film follows the plight of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) as he meets the parents of his girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), for the first time. As a Black man, Chris worries that Rose’s white parents might be hostile towards him, even when she reassures him they won’t. At first, there seems to be no cause for concern — all is well, if somewhat awkward. As Chris spends more time in their family home, however, things get really f****** weird — and really f****** white. One garden party later, Chris makes a discovery so shocking and sinister, you might be turned off from dating apps forever. “Get Out” serves as a microscope into 21st-century racism, with Peele flipping tropes of white saviors, neoliberals and third-time Obama voters on their heads. At its core, though, “Get Out” reveals that some of the worst betrayals come from those you love the most.
“Romeo + Juliet” directed by Baz Luhrmann
If there’s a singular narrative that proves that even the most fervent of romances are doomed to eventual failure, look no further than Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 technicolor chaos “Romeo + Juliet.” Though the script is lifted directly from the original text, Luhrmann replaces swords with guns, lace collars with skater-chic, and pumps an angsty, Radiohead-laden soundtrack between glittering and frenetic jump cuts. The LSD-fortified aesthetic excess doesn’t relent for a moment of the film, letting the narrative lows become just as enthralling and effective as the passionate highs. A perfectly cast Juliet (Claire Danes) and Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) play the titular roles with the exact level of deluded intensity required for the star-crossed lovers to meet their eventual demise. With style and immeasurable vigor, Luhrmann creates the perfect apocalyptic epic for the MTV generation and proves that, when met with vision, even the most misanthropic of classics can still be imbued with a bit of excitement.
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