Monday, February 16, 2015

Auteur Watch - Christopher Scott Cherot

Boy, I tell you darling... being a darling of the critics is a bitch.  "Promising debut"... how are you supposed to live up to that?  Well, Christopher Scott Cherot's debut was a little film called Hav Plenty... I think it played on Comedy Central once or twice!  And apparently it tells the tale of upper crust African Americans.  Tales like these are usually consigned to the sit-com ghe... usually told on TV in sit-com format, your Fresh Prince of Bel-Airs, your... there must be another one.  I think it was on NBC.  Anyway, I'm assumpting... assuming that Cherot's doing okay for himself, and that filmmaking is one of those annoying hobbies that his parents had hoped would just go away.  Well, that's what you get for buying him a camera instead of a chemistry set or letting him dissect roadkill with surgical tools.
And so, it seemed that Cherot was all primed and ready to be the next John Sayles... but with a sense of humor.  Okay, that's not totally fair.  Oh, I'm going to get comments over that one.  And besides!  Cherot goes one better than Sayles and cast himself in the lead!  He seemed a little green in the clip I saw.  Maybe the new Matty Rich or Spike Lee.  Okay, not Matty Rich; you want to get more work than that.  Also, I don't think Spike Lee does his own editing anymore.  So what came next?  Well, something called Box Marley... which apparently didn't go anywhere.  But the next one was a pretty big deal: an R-rated full-length feature called G.  The plot?  A variation on The Great Gatsby, but with black actors instead of white.  Well, needles to say, the empire struck back.  Ebert gave it two stars.  Even The Village Voice came to F. Scott's Fitzgerald's defense to a degree!  Oh, there are some of Whitey's toes you don't step on, my friends.  But the filmmakers were big about it and they didn't play the race card.  Maybe it's a victim of bad timing; if you only waited ten more years, maybe it'd be the hit of the SXSW circuit or something, with a special screening at the White House... you know what I'm trying to say.  Anyway, most of the blame for the debacle seems to have gone from the hapless director to the film's producer, the son of Ralph Lauren.  Okay, so he changed his name from Lipschitz!  Do you have to print that fact?  So he's got good taste in names!  And probably fashion, too.  Sucks to be you, critics!
And from there, well... Cherot's trail runs cold.  The only thing that seems to be of note is a short called The Male Groupie.  And I know what you're thinking... but no, Rob Schneider didn't make that movie.  He made The Hot Chick and The Animal and two Deuce Bigalow movies, but not The Male Groupie.  No, Cherot put his nose to the Avid and stayed there, straying away to do the occasional directing work.  Well, it's like Roger Deakins said: most directors don't actually like directing; they just want to get the damn footage and get thee to the edit-tory, so to speak.  But it looks like Cherot's finally playing the title game.  Check out this film title: Sex and Violence! Or: A Brief Review of Simple Physics.  Oh, they'll be lining up around the block, especially since Enobaria's in it.  Very meta.  Simple physics, complicated and titillating biology... that's how it works.  Of course, you might have to do the junket and talk show circuit, all the big podcasts if you can... Huffington Post.  Get everyone a week before the big opening saying "Sex and violence!  Or a brief review of simple physics."  Incidentally, that's probably how you want to go to get to Spielberg as well.  Start with Enobaria, work your way up to Katniss herself, then go from there.

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