Film for today: Candyman

Jordan Peele gives this classic ‘horror’ his treatment, and having seen the original previously, I think he has carried on and added to where it left off.

I came out of this film with so many things to say. As usual, like with US and GET OUT, Peele leaves you with questions and thoroughly unsettled. Peele has taken the timeless classic, with its undertones of racial and class tension, and made them overt. He literally turns things on their head with the opening titles, which begin inverted, already disturbing and distancing the audience.

He makes the ‘candyman’ a metaphor for all black victims of persecution – the dark figure of reality we don’t want to face up to. It is most interesting that he conveys a message about the way white people have repeatedly claimed and re told black narratives, so much that they have become like fables, without really having the right to ownership. A memorable line was ‘They love what we make, but they don’t love us’ which takes us into a meta-narrative about art itself – Peele’s candyman slashes open the canvass of the unpalatable and all the time, he is making art himself, and parodying the white critics of his art. Ironically, I am doing so right now, but I hope not being sycophantic, as it was truly thought provoking. He has made this message strong by re working from the original, as the myth of the Candyman in the original is a way of explaining things too horrifying to contemplate, and illustrating the way that in the past superficial nods to black suffering have been made, without cutting deeper.

The puppetry was amazing – those people who left before the screen went blank – you missed it! It was so powerful!

In my own writing, I also hope to show you that I can use archaic style or language to convey deeply relevant modern themes – I want to disturb you!

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