7:30 PM, 21st July, 2017
Chris (Kaluuya), a middle-class African-American, is headed to small-town USA to meet the family of his Caucasian girlfriend, Rose (Williams), at their isolated property. The meet starts out well, with Rose’s parents (Keener and Whitford) almost too inviting to their newcomer.
Something doesn’t seem quite right with her brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), however, and the African-American family servants seem out-of-place. Eventually, the abundance of white bread small-town charm proves overwhelming when family friends descend on the property for an unexpected garden party – but by that point it is too late to get out.
Get Out plays out like a modern episode of “The Twilight Zone”, albeit with much higher production values and from the other side of the pond. Suffice to say that it is best to head into this movie knowing as little about the plot as possible to get the most out of it.
Working equally well as a black comedy and a paranoid thriller, the film lampoons modern racial and class tensions with surprising subtlety, particularly compared to the sketch comedy that writer-director Jordan Peele is best known for. Both the humour and plot reveal layer upon layer throughout the film, with its twists taking viewers to a point they are unlikely to have predicted.
9:24 PM, 21st July, 2017
The Wiz is based on the award-winning Broadway show, which reimagined L. Frank Baum’s 1900 classic children’s novel as an urban fairy tale chronicling the African-American experience of living in New York City in the 1970s.
An incredibly creative and inclusive interpretation, the film features an entirely African-American cast, made up of the most spectacular artists of the time: Diana Ross plays Dorothy, Michael Jackson is the Scarecrow, and the amazing Richard Pryor plays the Wizard.
I have fond memories of watching this surreal, colourful classic as a kid (except for the creepy subway scene) and revel in the obscure pop culture references that it has inspired in contemporary media, in everything from “Orange is the New Black” to “Family Guy”.
A rare treat for the senses with amazing set design and catchy and upbeat musical numbers, The Wiz is glorious, campy and maybe a little trashy – but an absolutely iconic film to see on the big screen.