The Color Theory of Jordan Peele

The world of Jordan Peele might be a nightmare but at least it looks stunning.
Jordan Peele Color Theory Filmmaking

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at the use of color in the films of ‘Nope’ and ‘Get Out’ director Jordan Peele.

In a very short period of time, Jordan Peele has distinguished himself as one of the boldest voices in 21st Century horror. Each of his three directorial features has been an oasis of original storytelling in a sea of tentpole franchises. Not even humble horror films are immune from sequelitis. But Peele goes against the grain: delivering crisply chilly tales that never fail to engage with the genre’s legacy.

Get Out marked Peele’s directorial debut in 2017, telling the stomach-sinking tale of a Black man’s, uh, out-of-body experience with his white girlfriend’s skin-crawling family. In 2019, Peele doubled down on his keen interest in adding his voice to the identity horror genre with Us, wherein a family’s vacation turns nightmarish with the arrival of their violent doppelgängers. And most recently, in 2022, Peele tackles U.F.O’s with the tersely-titled Nope.

In addition to high concepts and a keen interest in drawing social commentary out of spooky stories, Peele’s cinematic output is remarkably colorful. Remember colors? Not all movies are shot in some cool wash of gray or sepia, it turns out.

The following video essay offers a drive-by look at the way that Jordan Peele uses color: from autumnal tans to vibrant pops of crimson to murky, dream-like blues.

Watch “The Colours of Jordan Peele”:

Who made this?

This video on the colors of Jordan Peele movies comes courtesy of the fine folks at Little White Lies, a film-obsessed magazine based in the United Kingdom. Luís Azevedo is the director behind this video, with Adam Woodward serving as its producer. You can follow Little White Lies on Twitter here. And you can check out their official website here. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here.

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Meg Shields: Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).