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  • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

    Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

    ★★½

    Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Spike Lee, 2015) is the kind of film I wanted to love. An established director experimenting with both form and content. Spike Lee embraces his film’s modernity wholeheartedly. And I very nearly did love it. Riffing on Bill Gunn’s hallucinatory, brilliant Ganja & Hess, perhaps Lee was bound to stumble here. Like with Gun Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, the source material is hard to improve upon.

    The film opens in a quintessentially Lee manner. Serene…

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows

    ★★★★★

    I love this film.

    Apart from The Blair Witch Project, I have very little experience with the found footage horror genre. Luckily, it seems very little such knowledge is required to enjoy Jemaine Clement’s and Taika Waititi’s brilliant comedy, What We Do in the Shadows.

    From the very beginning, a kind of matter-of-fact suspension of disbelief is present. Through just a few explanatory title cards, the film is given an instant credibility. A documentary crew is following a group of…

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  • Paddington

    Paddington

    ★★★½

    Paddington is a lovely little surprise, a family film that feels rather rigorously fussed-over. Directed by The Mighty Boosh’s Paul King, the film has a twee, whimsical tone not unlike the more recent Wes Anderson films (Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel). With lively set pieces and intricately rendered interiors, King establishes a refreshingly lived-in world in his version of London.

    King’s exploration of these interiors is much more expressive than the rather tepid outdoor locales. When he…