Sunday, June 11, 2017

Auteur Watch - Antoine Fuqua

My God!  Someone I've heard of!  And not just because he was in a documentary about GoodFellas, talking about its influence.  (Spoiler alert: very influential)
But it wasn't always near the top of the A-list for this guy.  He had to claw his way to the top, doing some things he might later regret.  And not just Training Day or BaitDoug Hutchison, STOP CALLING!!!  A video of your wedding night is NOT an A-list project, okay?  Make it yourself and put it on YouTube like everyone else.  No, Fuqua had to cut his teeth on something called "Inside Out," along with Alexander Payne and... others, I'm sure.  I thought Bernard Rose was already established by that time!  Go figure.  Well, it was just that strong a project, apparently.
Then of course there's the music videos.  David Fincher did them.  Adam Bernstein did 'em, Anton Corbijn's done way way too many of 'em.  I hate to tell the IMDb what to do... I know, not really, right?  But here goes anyway.  In the future, for directors, how about a new section?  Take Anton Corbijn's page for example.  You've got about all the categories that one person can have: Self, Thanks, Producer, Cinematographer, Visual Effects, Self... and of course, Director.  Well, in Anton's case, those darned old pesky silver screen releases seem to be buried amongst a bunch of shorts.  How about a new category called "Director - Shorts" or "Director - Music Videos"?  Some would argue that they should be separate, and not just me.  Also, I seem to have found a web page or two that point to nothing.  How about getting on top of those as well?  If it were MY web site, I'd be taking hella flack for that.  Hella.
So I guess we should go by decade on this one.  So, which do you think is Fuqua's favourite decade?  Would it be the go-go '90s that we're currently nostalgizing?  Dee-Lite and The Spitfire Grill?  The rise of the indie and the fall of Rob Reiner?  I mean, seriously, the guy lost his touch after... The Princess Bride or something.  Does Fuqua miss the hard work and the obscurity?  Or is it the 2000s, when Training Day vaulted him squarely into the A-list?  Had some trouble staying there, though.  Alas, his revisionist King Arthur wasn't terribly profitable, and he had to work with Mark Wahlberg once or twice.
Or maybe it's the 2010s?  A chance to make a move into documentaries... you know, along with Scorsese and Spielberg, plus bringing that Ken Burns-type touch to your work.  Of course, the industry's changing so much.  Doing something for Amazon and or Netflix is now on everyone's to-do list.  Maybe producing's a little more fun.  He's got a "Training Day" series now and something called "Ice."  Hey Ronald Bass, Blood Diamond called... wants its plot back.  But here's the question I want answered.  Fuqua directed a music video for Prince called "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."  Who did Prince find to play the part?  I'm sure he had a say in it.  He ain't messing with no Uggo's, especially not in the afterlife now.  Well, the internet is nothing if not an engine to answer such questions.  And the IMDb says... inconclusive?!  Ladies and gentlemen, this is the biggest failure since Al Capone's Vault.  Probably more so.  Are you telling me that Prince is going to let us mere Mortals use our imagination when it comes to picturing the most beautiful girl in the world?  Well, thankfully, that's where YouTube comes in.  Turns out it's kind of like how they casted the girl parts... roles for that George Michael video, "I Want Your Sex."  Get a couple Asians with nice glutes, get a Playboy photographer and a bed with a nice sheet with good folds in it and call it a day.  Ah, directing.  The best job in the world.

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