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Friday
Nov172017

Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya of 'Get Out' on Their Fave Moviegoing Experiences

by Jose Solis

My first attempts at watching Get Out were not the best of moviegoing experiences. I'm someone who is not into crowds and the first time I walked into a theater that was so packed there wasn’t even a seat for me. Theater management couldn’t figure out what was up, so they gave me a refund and their apologies. Needless to say so, I was relieved and took it as a sign that I should go see it at “off hours.” I showed up on a Saturday morning to an AMC theater that according to the kiosk was empty and when I showed up that wasn’t the case. Although it was less packed than my first try, the crowd at this screening was rowdier than any other I’ve sat with. Three young men lit up a joint, two white men got into a fight with a young black woman, another patron threw her popcorn at someone sitting a few rows down, and by the fourth time security showed up to try to restore order the movie was over.

Let's just say my first impression of Get Out was fractured. I was so stressed about all the activity going on around me that leaving the theater I could only remember a few scenes.

Watching the film earlier this week at an Academy screening in New York, things were quite different. For starters, I was one of the only people of color in the room. While I roared with laughter at scenes I didn’t remember, the people around me emitted shy giggles. There was only one other person laughing out loud which comforted me. I don’t think many people knew they were allowed to laugh, so perhaps they hadn't heard the news that the film would be considered a Comedy by the HFPA. After the film ended and people gathered in the lobby to chat, I heard the lovely laughter again -- it was Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega of "Rent" fame! Read more after the jump...

While people politely explained what they had liked about the film, Rubin-Vega exclaimed “I love this movie!” After the screening we all attended a luncheon thrown by Universal and she expressed her love for it to whoever was willing to listen. It was surreal to see a performer I admire so much become a fan; with glowing eyes and a wide smile she approached Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya to tell him how much she loved his work.

Kaluuya was joined by co-star Allison Williams, director Jordan Peele and the film’s producers who mingled with Academy voters, members of the press and guests including Mira Nair. At a Q&A that took place over cocktails and food, the creative team spoke about the making of the film.

That very morning, Peele had also tweeted that the film was a documentary…

Which led to the following:

Jordan Peele: I introduced Daniel and Allison, set up the camera and rolled.

Allison Williams: I really don’t like what that says about me.

Kaluuya mentioned how strangers come up to him in the street and hug him and tell him they’re glad he’s OK.

Peele was very vocal about his purpose and as a lover of all things genre spoke about how the movie fits within these parameters “This film lives in genre but what resonates is the truth and that makes it universal. This movie subverts genre just by existing,” he added. “It was important for me to make a film that didn’t talk down, or pander...you can build a film where you can ask the audience to put the pieces together with you. If you take people seriously and assume people are smart and good.”

The director also spoke about the film’s ending and how at one point Kaluuya’s character, Chris, ended up in jail. But the outcome of the election, and the polarizing state of American politics led to a change of heart, towards an ending that suggested tragedy, without depicting it.

Peele explained “The African American existence is a horror story in itself, we have to be aware of where we go. If we walk down the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time we can be the villain, we can get killed -- that’s how black people watch horror movies, if we were in that movie we wouldn’t be walking that way”

Most of the conversation was centered on how Peele was extremely conscious of the audience while making the film. “Ultimately the whole point of this film was that you could have a wild ride, a communal experience with a bunch of strangers, so that all of you could see through the eyes of this black protagonist” he explained, “for black people to see themselves represented in a way they’d never seen before, and for everyone else to be invited into that perspective, my truth.” Williams added that “that is how he directed us,” by talking about what he thought audiences would say while watching the movie in the theater.

 So with that in mind, I asked Peele and Kaluuya about their most memorable experiences as theatergoers.

(When I asked if I could take his picture, Kaluuya said "get in the picture with me, man" how could I say no?)

Kaluuya:

I went to watch The Room and Tommy and Greg were there, and everyone threw spoons at the screen when the spoon came, it was so awesome, I’d heard of the film before but had never watched it and it was so cool!

Peele:

My mind goes to Jurassic Park, I remember when that first came out, it was that kind of thing where I thought I needed to go see it as many times in the theater as I could, because once it was gone, I would never be able to see it again. I had the same with The Abyss which was so submersive, and then also there’s Thelma and Louise, that was a film I didn’t think would appeal to me because I usually like monsters and aliens, but the fact I was invited to see the world through Louise’s eyes was like teleportation, it was like a holiday.

I mentioned to the director that I would pay good money to see audience reactions while watching Get Out and asked if he at any point had placed hidden cameras in theaters. He thought for a moment, looked up and said “I wish we’d done that.”

What was your experience watching Get Out at the theater? What is the most memorable moviegoing experience of your life?

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Reader Comments (11)

Very nice. My favorite bonding movie experiences as a human were Star Wars and Alien, Meryl Streep in that series of films where she was discovered, and recently, Mindhunter. The long form is energizing movies.

November 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I watched it with a group of 11 friends, all of us were looking forward to it and I have to say it was a similar experience where we were all bursting in laughter several times during the movie. It was just us and another group of people a few rows ahead having that reaction, the rest of the audience was a bit more quiet. When the lights turned on it was a fun coincidence that that group of people also turned out to be people of color.

I'm happy to see the film doing as well as it. It's groundbreaking in a lot of ways, and such an unusual type of awards movie. Looking forward to it scoring as many nods as possible.

November 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve_Man

Loved it. People laughed and were scared. It should get some nods for creativity and timeliness. It represents the whole transition from asleep to woke?

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

When I saw Get Out in theaters, it was packed and the audience was really into it. Cringing at the right scary moments and bursting into laughter in the funny scenes.

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

Loved It. One of the best of the year for Sure.

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I saw it in a packed theater and I wouldn't have wanted to change my experience a bit. The crowd was PERFECT. They all laughed, freaked out, and cheered exactly when I was and it's really awesome to see a movie that way. That shot at the end of the movie with the car saying "Airport" was probably the loudest cheers of a movie audience I've ever heard.

Anyways... drama, comedy documentary... whatever... GET OUT is great. Daphne Rubin-Vega knows what's what.

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

As a foreigner poster here, I can say without hesitation Get Out is the most clever, amusing and cinematic film that came out of Hollywood this year. Critics and audiences LOVED IT here.


So did I. And if this doesn't get an Oscar nomination there will be riot!!:))

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Thanks for this. It made me think about the time my dad saw Dr. Strangelove in a theatre in Japan. He was the only person laughing. Different communities can have such opposite reactions to the same movie. This is something I love about movies, and also why they're so important. Movies really do help us see and understand others' experiences, often even better than news report/footage. (Sometimes we have to see the movie multiple times to fully appreciate it.)

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCash

I saw "It" and "Mother!" in the same week and I was jumpy for about a month. "It" was definitely more fun. I surprised myself by how scared I was!!!!

As a rebellious teen in love with Channing Tatum, I walked ten miles AND BACK to the cineplex to see the midnight showing of Step Up.

My dad took my brother and I to see Toy Story and the only seats left were waayyyyyy in the front.

I saw Gone Girl with a boy who I just met and another boy who I was madly in love with and it was UNCOMFORTABLE.

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Jakey I saw Gone Girl a second time with a friend of mine in a packed theater. We were sitting next to guy the size of a linebacker. And at one point he screamed "Get out the house Ben Affleck!"

November 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Allison Williams needs to switch her campaign to Supporting Actress NOW.

November 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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