Image source: Hollywood Reporter
Nope is the latest film from the mind of Jordan Peele, and despite universal acclaim, it left viewers confused.
The trailer left an ominous impression and revealed nothing. However, most of the speculation turned out to be correct. But how did Peele come to terms with his most ambiguous work to date?
Many people entered the cinema with no particular expectations, but on leaving, they left with more questions than answers.
Warning: The following contains spoilers
The film begins with a Bible verse (Nahum 3:6) and revolves around two events: the past, when a chimpanzee goes crazy in a sitcom production; and the present, when two siblings attempt to film a UFO.
It uses the concept of extraterrestrial life to explore the idea of spectacle (as mentioned in the opening, quoting the Bible verse Nahum 3:6) and the consequences of “this idea of attention.”
Peele references the spectacle at the start of the film when referring to the first moving image of Eadweard Muybridge in the 19th century.
While the artist is recalled, the subject (a black jockey on horseback) is forgotten in the story.
However, Nope connects siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) to the jockey who was their great-great-great-grandfather.
After spotting a UFO with their cameras at the ranch, the siblings set out to record the first clear evidence of extraterrestrial life.
As with his previous films, Jordan Peele provided Nope with sociopolitical commentary.
While “Get Out and Us” dipped deep into the subject matter, Peele decided to take “Nope” in a different direction, making it more visceral and superficial.
“I wrote it at a time when we were a little worried about the future of cinema,” says the director.
“The first thing I knew was that I wanted to create a show…the great American UFO story.”
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Black historical documentation
Nope explores OJ and Emerald’s obsession with making history like Muybridge and capturing the best evidence of extraterrestrial life.
At the beginning of the film, Emerald talks about Muybridge’s film saying:
“Since images can move, we have skin in the game.”
While making their first attempts with the help of Fry’s Electronics employee Angel (Brandon Perea), they turn to filmmaker Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott) for help with the recording.
Although Holst lends his aid, he meets his death, leaving Emerald to take matters into his own hands and use all his might to get the “Oprah Shot”.
Gordy and Jean Jacket
The film begins in the most confusing way, leaving viewers wondering if the apes were actually part of an invasion.
However, as the story progresses, it is revealed that Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun) witnessed the audience’s point of view during the opening.
When Gordy (Terry Notary) recognizes young Jupe (Jacob Kim), they try to punch before Gordy is shot in the head.
Having survived the ordeal, Jupe believes he can tame Jean Jacket (the alien’s first name).
Holst compares Jupe’s fate to that of Siegfried and Roy, who trained white lions and tigers before one attacked Roy and seriously injured him.
Experts and analysts are also comparing Jupe’s attempts to tame Jean Jacket with classic monster movies King Kong and Jurassic Park, both of which resulted in mass deaths in an attempt to create a show.
- As OJ steps up to lure out Jean Jacket, photo of him mirrors Muybridge clip
- As well as producing the first film, Eadweard Muybridge was also known to have risked his life to take dangerous photos – a parallel to Antler Holst’s dedication to craftsmanship.
- Jordan Peele chose “Nope” as the film’s title to acknowledge the audience’s reaction to the film
- Jordan Peele based Jean Jacket’s animal form on sea creatures such as jellyfish, squid, cuttlefish, electric eels and knife ghost fish
- Peele pays homage to the anime: Emerald makes the iconic motorcycle slide from Akira (1988), and Jean Jacket’s design was influenced by the angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).
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