In his stunning film, Jordan Peele masterfully blends science fiction, humor, and cinematic meditation. And he recalls how black actors, who had long been erased from Hollywood history, were present at the beginnings of cinema.
Posted on Mar 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm
againstIt could just be an anecdote, quoted at the beginning no. The protagonists, OJ and Em, brother and sister, horse breeders at the cinema, appear on set as the great-great-grandchildren of a box filmed in 1878 by the inventor of the motion picture, Eadweard Muybridge, for a famous motion study of “Animal Motion”. If the horse’s name appeared in the study, it meant that the rider’s name had been forgotten because he was black. The story of this alleged filiation is very fleeting, but it tells all Jordan Peele’s science fiction films and gives it political and cinematic meaning.
Around 1878, the British photographer Muybridge, living in California, following in the footsteps of his French contemporary Étienne Jules Marie, developed a system of time-lapse photography that consisted of taking several successive and instantaneous pictures – a technical feat of the time – of the sequence of movement of a horse or man advancing (in no, Em will use this same process thanks to the fairground attraction). These still images placed in a projection device, the zoopraxiscope, first gave the impression of movement on the screen.
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