One of the biggest film success stories of 2017 is Jordan Peele's fantastic thriller Get Out. A financial and critical darling, Peele's directorial debut has been praised for its complex and fascinating depiction of liberal racism, as well as its use of comedy and a wholly original concept. But the newly certified director included plenty of easter eggs and subtle cultural nods in Get Out, many of which likely go over viewers' heads upon first view. But one said easter egg has Jordan Peele thoroughly impressed with viewers.
When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is being hypnotized by Rose's mother Missy (Catherine Keener), he begins clawing at the leather recliner. Once the leather is pierced, he reaches the cotton inside and begins picking it out, a purposeful reference to the history of African-Americans in the country. Jordan Peele said about this easter egg to Yahoo:
Alas, the visual of seeing Chris picking cotton didn't fall on deaf ears, as audiences immediately understood how purposeful this choice was. But this is also a testament to Peele's direction, as his vision penetrated audiences, even when he didn't expect it.
Get Out was chock full of specific cultural references like this, resulting in a film where every frame is a discovery. A similar easter egg can be seen when Rose (played by Girls alum Allison Williams) is searching for her next victim, while enjoying a bowl of fruit loops. Afterward, she deliberately chugs a large glass of milk, while the audiences watches awkwardly. This is another specific reference, as the drinking of (and bathing in) milk has been used in white supremacist gatherings in order to symbolize their purity.
I suppose that Jordan Peele thought the cotton picking easter egg might have gone over audiences heads due to Chris' backstory. His inability to move and chair scratching goes back to the character's childhood, as his mother died in a hit and run when he was just eleven years old. Rather than calling for help or alerting anyone to his mother's disappearance, young Chris was unable to do anything but watch television, scratch at his chair, and wait for a reunion that would never come.
So the hypnotizing scene carried emotional weight for the individual character of Chris, while having the character pick cotton out of the chair invites the audience, especially African-Americans, into his struggle and history.
Get Out has been praised non-stop since its release in February, with some calling for Jordan Peele to be nominated for a slew of awards, especially regarding his screenplay. It should be interesting to see how his directing career continues on from here, and if he returns to the horror genre.