Sunday, September 06, 2015

Auteur Watch - Julie Dash

Apparently, she's not related at all to that other Dash family.  If she is, she sure doesn't seem to work with them.  The centerpiece of her résumé is undoubtedly Daughters of the Dust.  Great title!  Of course, when it comes to Gullah culture, people tend to gravitate towards "Gullah, Gullah Island" instead, which is kind of a shame.  But that's how things shake out sometimes.  And of course, everyone wants more fun stuff like Beasts of the Southern Wild when it comes to subcultures on the brink of extinction.
But even someone as pioneering as Julie Dash wants to be more mainstream at some point, hence a TV movie about Rosa Parks.  Of course, everyone assumes that Angela Bassett directed herself.  No love for Julie Dash?  Not even a pinch?  A smidgeon?  It's the kind of thing that might make a less sturdy person take twelve years off to work on their next project.  Perhaps something about girls.  Girls are always a popular subject.  You've got your "Girls," your "Gossip Girl," the The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants saga, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  I could go on... Fried Green Tomatoes, White Oleander, Beaches, Steel Magnolias, Crimes of the Heart, Now and Then, The Women, Robert Altman's 3 Women, what have you.  So a title to invoke that feeling might be good, even though some studio execs might shy away from it.
And so, with that zeitgeist in mind, if I may use that word in mixed company, Dash's next project is called Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl.  Now, you might be asking yourself, as I was at one point, what manner of girl is this?  Is this some hot new trend like "suicide girls"?  As it happens, according to this Wikipedia entry, it seems to bring things full circle for Dash.  True, it's a documentary this time, but with a big name like Danny Glover attached, it's sure to go more mainstream.

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