Sunday, October 30, 2016

Auteur Watch - Eugene Ashe

Some come to filmmaking from another career.  It's usually how it goes.  You know, people get tired of installing solar panels on rooftops.  I mean, why do something useful for society when you can get involved in the creation of the next great Mass Communication Distraction?  It's a hobby!
Take the example of Eugene Ashe, for example.  As the name suggests, yes... he is indeed a distant relative of tennis great Arthur Ashe.  But even he wanted to move to the director's-type folding chair that the game's referee uses up there in the crow's nest overlooking the playing field, surely?  I wonder if the IMDb ever lists anyone's cause of death as breathing smoggy New York City air.  Surely, many have succumbed to it time to time?
Wonder if he's at all related to Internet great Danni... never mind.  Anyway, Eugene started off as an award-worthy recording artist... I'm sorry, major label recording artist.  Now, I'm no music expert... and anyone who's read this blog knows that I am a) a bad writer, and b) I love love LOVE Richard Donner, no matter what Mel Gibson implies about him... but if you really are a major label recording artist, you're probably not going to point to the Free Willy soundtrack as a career highlight.  Just saying.  The other being 1994's Blankman.  Now... like a lot of you, I'm also facebook friends with Mike Binder... I think I am, anyway.  But again, all due respect... probably not a soundtrack you'd want to take credit for, let alone the movie.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't truly appreciate the historical significance that Blankman will have when the final piece of dust is settled, the box office Rosetta Stone chiseled, the last Mann's Chinese Theatre franchise shuttered, what have you, but when I think movie soundtrack... well, Dirty Dancing is the first one to come to mind.  Different era.  Ooh!  How about Pirate Radio?  Because sometimes you just gotta stretch the bounds of historical accuracy when it comes to classic rock.
So, with street cred in the music biz firmly established, it was time to pivot.  Because, after all, even the funkiest of poets dream about realizing that screenplay they've got in their head, even if it's just the big, autobiographical one about that time you got kicked out of the public library for exposing yourself... oh, wait, Eugene did some acting first.  Well, every little bit helps.  You want to see the filmmaking process from all aspects before taking a managerial role in it.  Doesn't hurt.  And so, after an aborted chance with Spike Lee, it was time for a documentary: 2009's Home Again.  Apparently, it's a documentary about Americans who emigrated to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War.  No one reviewed it yet, but 50,000 plus people lived it.  That's... that's a demographic, right?  After all, people were doing that in 1776 as well, or so I've been informed.  The best and brightest step up to the nation's call and say "Sorry, I'm going next door.  My life's far too important to sacrifice this way."
Sticking with the theme of home, we get 2012's Homecoming.  From the plot description, it sounds a bit like The Big Chill, only blacker.  And not just the music, mind you.  Judging from the poster, however... looks like they couldn't afford a Grade-A movie poster.  More like C or D.  I mean, that one Madea movie where (s)he pretends to be in The Godfather and other Hollywood classics... that's an A-/B+ movie poster in terms of graphic company production quality.  Where's the quality, people?  Where's the professional pride and grade? 
Anyway, there's one review from the esteemed "Common Sense Media."  Surprisingly, they give a positive, ethnic-friendly review.  If Mr. Ashe wants to proceed to the next project, hopefully something away from home if only for my sake... I think he's got the green light!  As long as it's cheap and under budget.  And by under budget, I mean no budget, and shot with a Canon Rebel EOS.  Get ready to max your credit card(s), dude.  As for me, well... I went to the University of Washington for two years, and you couldn't pay me enough to go to a reunion with the puds that I roomed with that first year.  The middle school and high school hadn't rubbed off quite yet, lemme tell ya.  Second year was okay, but they probably want nothing to do with me anyway.

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