The horror film “Answer No” is Jordan Peele’s love letter to cinema

Jordan Peele's science-fiction western film "The Answer No" is a moral-spiritual embodiment of cinema that also deals with exploitation in this industry. In his latest work, he takes a close look at the history of cinema, especially the history of black people, but how did this tasteful director connect his ambitious ideas with filmmaking?

BingMag.com The horror film “Answer No” is Jordan Peele’s love letter to cinema

Jordan Peele's science-fiction western film "The Answer No" is a moral-spiritual embodiment of cinema that also deals with exploitation in this industry. In his latest work, he takes a close look at the history of cinema, especially the history of black people, but how did this tasteful director connect his ambitious ideas with filmmaking?

The essence of cinema is "symbol"; Filming an "action" that often represents another concept and [this action] derives its identity from something you don't see on screen. Jordan Peele's new work has many action moments, if you see it through the eyes of a genre film, it is also a fantasy and exciting work; A "scientific-fictional" movie that uses "western" elements. But if we take a deeper look at the story, even its initial idea is symbolic, just as "Cowboys and Aliens" (2011) by Jon Favreau, which also combined the two mentioned genres, was symbolic in the same way. Cowboys and Aliens tells the story of creatures that have stepped into the Wild West from outer space. It was quite clear that the common point of the two genres is the presence of aliens who came from afar (more precisely, the invasion of aliens on the planet is similar to the invasion of white people on the American continent). Peele undoubtedly thought of this idea in writing the screenplay for No, but instead of repeating it, he cleverly expands on it. "Uninvited" (the main guests are the whites who conquered this area and marginalized the Indians and natives). Since the story takes place in the western United States, Peele took the opportunity to bring it closer to "Hollywood", the place where our knowledge of the Wild West largely comes from (by watching Westerns). Peele's goal is clear: he wants to make films and tell about the effects of cinema on the modern audience; At the same time, it represents people from the American society who are treated as strangers and aliens. We can describe the negative answer as an "exploitation film", but we do not mean the second-rate and low-budget films of the 70s and 80s that tried to shock the audience and achieve high sales; The negative answer is literally a film about exploitation and the history of exploitation in cinema, which of course has always been an integral part of this industry. In any way, an industry is formed with the purpose of generating income and business, and even for cinema, which is tied to art, it may be obvious that it will fall under the capitalist system and other forms of profiteering.

BingMag.com The horror film “Answer No” is Jordan Peele’s love letter to cinema

The story takes place on a horse farm in California, the Haywood family produces horses for movies, series and TV commercials. Provide. Ranch owner Otis Haywood (Keith David) is killed after a coin (which mysteriously fell from the sky) hits his eye, leaving the task of running the family business to his children, Augie (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald. (Kike Palmer) to be handed over. Undoubtedly, these siblings are not suitable replacements for Otis. Oji, who loves horses and working with them, is considered an introvert; Like his father, he cannot communicate well with others. Emerald should be seen as the opposite of Ojie, a girl who happens to be a good speaker but has other dreams. He is an aspiring actor and filmmaker for whom horses are just a job, and a job that isn't very enjoyable. To solve the farm's financial problems, they sell their horses to a western amusement park, but the situation suddenly changes. When a monstrous UFO that eats people and horses arrives and takes up residence near the Heywoods' home, Augie and Emerald are forced to fight it. They have other motivations, they want to film this spaceship because they hope to make good money by selling "the first real recorded video of a UFO" and not have to worry about money anymore.

Negative answer Tips It has countless positives, it presents its story bravely, its story twists are innovative and the themes desired by the director are implemented correctly. With the decision of the filmmaker, the action sequences have been prioritized and, on the other hand, the psychological examination of the characters is not given much importance. There is no specific reason for Oji to be taciturn or Emerald to be boisterous. The movie doesn't talk much about the past of the characters, at least not as much as we expect. On the other hand, Peele combines the theme he discussed in "Go Out" and "Us" with the story here: "knowing history", especially its hidden or suppressed angles. Peale also looks to film history, particularly black history, to use as background for the characters.

For the Haywoods, their background goes back to the birth of cinema: the "first real motion pictures" produced by Edward Muybridge" were made in the 19th century and are considered one of the first films in history. One of these images shows a horseman running with his horse. In the negative, Peel creates a fake identity for this horseman: "Alistair Heywood", who is actually one of the ancestors of Augie and Emerald. Emerald also points out that their family played a key role in the history of cinema. Of course, in addition to pointing to the refinement of history, Peel also deals with other themes that can be considered: responsibility, guilt, risk-taking, and the consequences of the audience's extreme interaction with cinematic visual phenomena.

Beauty in uniformity

The symbolism of the film has given a negative answer to it by creating a different atmosphere and character. "Go Out" and "Us" are works of semanticism and although they are tied with suspense and action, they are considered character-oriented. On the other hand, The Answer No, made with a higher budget, is a kind of blockbuster, but a unique blockbuster that stands apart from similar films. The events take place in the open space and what makes them feel empty is power: political, historical, physical and psychological power.

The film is full of different images; The fictional and the real, and they are overlaid with a visual overlay of mythologies and untold narratives that link the Western landscape to the history of cinema. What exists along the invisible lines of power is a gaze, the gaze of the eyes and of course the camera. From his very first feature film, Peele has shown that he has a special talent for capturing shots that depict the "point of view" of characters, but in the negative, he goes further and turns these shots into the center of the drama. Peale focuses on eye contact: the viewer's relationship with what they have seen. In addition, Peel reveals one of the characteristics of photography, that is, "its profit making" and what responsibility the photographer has for the picture he has taken. puts a head The film opens with a scene in a television studio, where a seemingly well-trained chimpanzee, starring alongside human actors in a sitcom, suddenly goes out of control and murders the people around him (this subplot is reminiscent of the tragic incident in The filming of "The Twilight Zone: The Movie" took place. The incident, played in flashback from 1996, has one survivor, an Asian-American child actor who has now grown up and manages the same amusement park from whom he buys Oji's horses. "Jope" (Steven Yen) has also been able to communicate with the story's UFO and is trying to achieve wealth and fame through it; Having once survived the hands of a wild animal, this cheerful young man does not care about the possible dangers of encountering an alien. You can probably guess what fate awaits Jupe. His show, which was supposed to end with a horse being swallowed by a spaceship, ends in a disaster to make the predatory relationship between viewers and consumers more clear. It has abundance, which is reminiscent of "Hugo" (2011) by Martin Scorsese. In the negative, action relies on the power and nature of filmmaking technologies; The juxtaposition of digital and optical images and the creative use of obsolete cinematographic techniques are evident even in the actors chosen for the film (including a young man interested in the UFO phenomenon played by "Brandon Priya" and a white-haired and experienced cameraman played by "Michael Wincott"). . The TV commercial for which the Haywoods' horse is rented is shot in front of a green screen in a studio; Where a sad horse stands still, there is no sign of its usual splendor and decency, and it is reduced to a fake digital version of itself, which will then be manipulated by a backbencher into something artificial that has no identity. In other words, Peel presents the "computer-generated imagery" (CGI) on which the film itself is based as a deception, an unreliable tactic, and a kind of dangerous power; CGI destroys originality.

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Finally, one important question remains: Why? All the farms in California have aliens chosen this particular farm that has black owners? The answer to this question can be simple but complex at the same time. The film opens with a religious sentence: an ominous prophecy from the book of Nahum. In the way of transferring the themes of the negative answer to a wider area of the United States and extending it to the intergalactic conflicts between humans and aliens, Peale takes a sarcastic look at the "universality of racism". The filmmaker develops the themes of the film and makes them comprehensive, spiritual and provides metaphysics to make his passionate and critical understanding of "salvation" more effective.

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