×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Picture Windows

"Armed Response"

“Armed Response”

Director, Bob Rafelson; writer, Fredric Rafael, based on his story “Merce”; camera, Miroslaw Baszak; editor, Lorenzo Massa; production design, Valanne Ridgeway; sound, Doug Johnson; music, Hummie Mann.

Filmed in Los Angeles, Toronto and Anjou, France, by Yorktown Prods. in association with Skyvision Partners. Executive producers, Norman Jewison, Gayle Fraser-Baigelman, Howard Rosen; producers, Scott JT Frank, Dan Halperin, David Wesley Wachs; supervising producer, Jeff Freilich; series creators, Frank, Halperin, Wachs.

“Lightning”

Director, Joe Dante; writer, JimByrnes, based on a short story by Zane Grey; “Two Nudes Bathing”

Director-writer-producer, John Boorman; camera, Seamus Deasy; editor, Ron Davis; art director, Derek Wallace; sound, Brendan Deasy; music, Jocelyn West. 2 1/2 HOURS.

Casts:”Lightning”: Brian Keith, Kathleen Quinlan, Ron Perlman, Henry Jones; “Armed Response”: Robert Loggia, James Calvert, Steve Zahn, Cyndy Preston, Cliff Saunder, Maria Macratsis, Laura Press; “Two Nudes Bathing”: John Hurt, Charley Boorman, Juliette Caton, Angeline Ball, Britta Smith, Jocelyn West.

Big-name helmers craft small-screen jewels for Showtime’s “Picture Windows” short-film series. Literary/arty pretensions of theme — each pic is inspired by a work of art or classic literature — gives the series a rather higher-brow feel, which thankfully, doesn’t spell filmmaker self-indulgence. First trilogy showcases Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Kaplan and Norman Jewison (one of the series’ exec producers); second trilogy features pics from Joe Dante, Bob Rafelson and John Boorman; all are worthy and worth a good look.

Based on a Zane Grey story and visually inspired by the works of Frederick Remington, “Lightning”– Dante’s offering — toplines Brian Keith as an ornery gold prospector who strikes it rich.

His life is saved by Lightning, a recently purchased mule who seems to possess preternatural intelligence — at least for a mule. Ron Perlman and Kathleen Quinlan are a gambler and whore, respectively, who plot to take his gold.

Story trades on an O. Henry type of irony with a twisted, satisfying conclusion.

Dante directs this amusing, wry shortie with a sure hand. Keith, Perlman and Quinlan are relaxed and production values are tops.

Rafelson’s entry, “Armed Response,” takes off from the David Hockney painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures),” with all the post-modern chilliness that painting embodies.

Fabulously wealthy lawyer Robert Loggia, through the course of some disturbing events over which he feels he has control, discovers that surfaces are misleading and that digging deeper reveals a lurid, sordid underbelly to his “perfect” family.

In the end, Loggia is painted into a corner by his kids — closing shot drives the point home.

Visually, Rafelson keeps “Armed Response” looking like a cinematic Hockney, bolstering pic’s theme.

Boorman’s “Two Nudes Bathing” debuted in Cannes in Un Certain Regard, and was well-received at the French fest.

The strongest of the trio, “Two Nudes Bathing” is Boorman’s witty musing on how that famous anonymous painting from the 16th century, which hangs in the Louvre, came to be.

Gorgeously filmed by Seamus Deasy on location in a French chateau, “Bathing” assumes a sweet fairytale quality with helmer’s son Charley Boorman portraying the “anonymous” painter Henri, commissioned to paint the two daughters of a tyrannical nobleman.

Henri educates the girls about love and finds love himself with the saucy maid.

Compelling story, written by the director, ends with a very satisfying conclusion.

The beautiful Juliette Caton and Angeline Ball give the sisters a wonderful aching curiosity about love and sex; rest of cast, including John Hurt as the comte, are top-notch, as are tech credits.

Showtime has a great little series here; in the future, it would be nice to see how Quentin Tarantino tackles a ferocious Delacroix, or Allison Anders’ take on Frida Kahlo — the possibilities are exciting.

Fab 4 spice drab ‘Now’

Picture Windows

Production: Showtime, Sun. Oct. 29, 8 p.m.

Crew: Camera, Jamie Anderson; editor, David Hickes; production design, Nanette Vanderbilt; sound, Geoffrey Patterson; music, Hummie Mann.

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules about how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content