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Episode 012: Malcolm X + Da 5 Bloods

Recorded on Saturday, June 27, 2020

Why talk about only one Spike Lee Joint when you can talk about two? This episode, the Film Club goes both back in time for Lee’s epic 1992 biopic Malcolm X and back to Vietnam for the director’s recently released Da 5 Bloods, a saga of brotherhood and of treasures both true and false. We touch on many of Lee’s other films, discuss the director’s choice to eschew de-aging effects in Da 5 Bloods, and marvel at the inimitable Denzel Washington’s towering performance as Malcolm X. We also chart the surprising structural similarities between the two films, and even manage to work in some last-minute references to Dune (again!) and Floor Is Lava. As always, there’s something for everyone!

Note: This episode was recorded two months before the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, who owns the screen as Stormin’ Norman in Da 5 Bloods, and who left us with a transcendent body of work for which all of us who love movies owe him a tremendous debt. Let’s make sure we’re good for it.