Sunday, September 25, 2016

Auteur Watch - Julius Erving

Our next auteur is... Dr. J?  Boy!  Everyone really does want to direct!  But not everyone's path to the chair is certain.  And even though it's kind of a crappy folding chair that doesn't even get used all that much (at least, not by the really good directors, or the ones who used to be DPs and prefer to spend their time sitting on the crane that has the A Camera)... where was I?  Oh yeah.  Dr. J.  Well, his IMDb bio is certainly an eye-opener.  I sure didn't know that there used to be an ABA in addition to the NBA.  Well, everyone's in favor of competition, as long as they're the ones that eventually win.
Now, you can't just jump right into the director's chair.  Even Steven Paul knew that.  You gotta bring some kind of skill to pushing movie people around.  In Dr. J's case, it was through acting.  Lotta temperamental "artists" to deal with in front of the camera.  But from the various TV shows, he knew all about that.  Probably the highlight of his IMDb résumé would have to be The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh.  HAVE to be.  Well, it's kind of a short résumé and that was the only one that caught my eye, so to speak.  It's got a poster like Mad, Mad World and everything!
And so, after a lifetime of professional basketball and semi-pro acting, it was time to try directing.  But what to pick for a project?  Well, for someone with discretion like Dr. J, only the prestige of a documentary would have to do.  And the subject?  Why, himself, of course!  A little bit like how Jon Stewart's Rosewater didn't stray too far from "The Daily Show," thematically.  But Dr. J's directorial position must've been a little more awkward.  I can't even imagine sitting someone down in front of hot lights and a camera, and instructing them "Tell me about me.  And... ACTION!"  I think it's an unusual situation.

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