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Horror vérité: politics and history in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017)

Show simple item record Landsberg, Landsberg 2020-07-31T20:07:15Z 2020-07-31T20:07:15Z 2018
dc.identifier.citation Alison Landsberg (2018) Horror vérité: politics and history in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017), Continuum, 32:5, 629-642, DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2018.1500522 en_US
dc.description.abstract This essay proposes that certain cinematic conventions of the horror film are uniquely suited to bring into visibility everyday, endemic horror – a horror that many in US society refuse to see. I call this use of horror, ‘horror vérité’ or truthful horror. As a form of politically inflected horror, it has potential to perform the kind of materialist history that Walter Benjamin theorizes, in which the historical materialist ‘appropriate[es] a memory as it flashes up in a moment of danger’ in order to recast the present. Jordan Peele’s 2017 film, Get Out, is an example of ‘horror vérité’, because it uses the mechanics of the horror genre to expose actually existing racism, to render newly visible the very real, but often masked, racial landscape of a professedly liberal post-racial America. The film analysis considers: first, the use of the conventions of horror to expose everyday racial violence; second, its reliance on a dialectic of sleeping (hypnosis) and waking up (provoked by photography); and third, its performing of the historical materialism Benjamin describes, in which the jarring confrontation of the past and the present radically alters the landscape of the present. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Continuum en_US
dc.rights Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject historical materialism en_US
dc.subject Walter Benjamin en_US
dc.subject horror en_US
dc.subject politics of mass culture en_US
dc.title Horror vérité: politics and history in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1080/10304312.2018.1500522
dc.description.version Postprint version of the published article. en_US

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