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Week in Review: Details revealed about Spike Lee’s Kickstarter movie

Week in Review: Details revealed about Spike Lee’s Kickstarter movie

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Back in August 2013, Spike Lee launched plans for his newest movie on Kickstarter, causing a big hullabaloo in the process. People questioned whether an established director like him was taking money away from other independent filmmakers and projects, even though he clarified that more people came to Kickstarter who had never heard of the service. He added that this was the new order, the new way indie filmmakers like himself got the word out.

Lee did end up earning the funding for his film, just over $1.4 million from over 6,000 backers, and now that film has finally arrived. The movie is Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, a reimagining of a cult horror classic from 1973 Ganja & Hess. Indiewire has details that the film will be released in theaters and VOD, presumably with many perks for Kickstarter backers, on February 13, 2015. This follows its premiere at the American Black Film Festival back in June, where it received fairly middling reviews.

It’s fitting that the film is something of a Valentine’s Day release, as Lee describes it as a new kind of love-story. Here’s the synopsis:

“A Spike Lee Joint, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul.  He however is not a vampire.  Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man.  Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.  A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film Ganja & Hess, which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.”

Angelina Jolie says she plans on one day “absolutely” giving up acting, telling Du Jour magazine in an interview, “I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” said Jolie. “I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier.” Jolie of course is on her way as a rising director, with In the Land of Blood and Honey in the can and Unbroken just a month away. As an actress, she starred in this year’s Maleficent and is rumored to reprise her action star role in Salt 2. But she’s also writing, directing and starring in a 1970’s French romance, By the Sea, starring her partner Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Neils Arestrup.

Following a Best Picture win for 12 Years a Slave, everyone is eagerly awaiting to see what Steve McQueen will do next. This week he’s announced not one but two major film projects. The first announced centers on the life of Paul Robeson, a singer and actor who was an active Civil Rights proponent before becoming blacklisted during the McCarthy era. McQueen views this as something of a passion project, as HitFix points out that an early art exhibition he created called End Credits utilized many of the details of Robeson’s FBI investigation. This film however is still something of a pipe dream uncertain of when it will get in front of a camera, although he certainly now has the clout and “the juice” to make it.

The second project however, according to The Wrap, sounds more like a studio project. McQueen will write, direct and produce Widows, a heist thriller about four armed robbers killed during a robbery who now have their spouses out to finish the job. The Wrap claims pre-production on this film could start as soon as the end of this year.

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