Arts & Life

Fade in: An introduction

Your streaming queue just got larger, free of charge. This new biweekly column will be bringing you the best movies available on Kanopy, a free streaming service which you can access through the Cal State Long Beach University library.

Kanopy is full of gems from across the globe, one of those being the movie in discussion this week: “What We Do In the Shadows.”

This 2014 mockumentary follows the lives of a handful of vampires attempting to satisfy their bloodthirst while avoiding sunlight, attention and other dangers.

Contrary to appearance, this New Zealand film is neither a documentary or a vampire movie. “What We Do In the Shadows” is a comedy that uses characters connected to the horror genre for laughs. Of course none of this is real, they’re vampires. But “What We Do In the Shadows” never breaks the illusion, and this makes the jokes hit harder than most comedies.

I’ve seen it five times now and I’m only left with more to appreciate upon each viewing, often discovering new layers to seemingly simple jokes. The documentary format used can even affect how one watches other films. The cameramen record events such as the lead characters biting into people’s necks for blood as if it these actions had no consequences. This raises questions of when a filmmaker should intervene with what they record, which one can apply to actual documentaries. The best movies are those that stick with you and affect how you view other films, and this one does just that.

You can stream “What We Do In the Shadows” through Kanopy. A DVD copy can be requested from the University Library through CSU+.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter