Two Nudes Bathing

on August 01, 2008 by Lael Loewenstein
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   In this witty, irreverent short, director John Boorman offers an explanation for the origin of one of the Louvre's most famous unsigned paintings. The work, hailing from the Fontainebleau School, depicts two young women in a bath, one holding the nipple of the other between thumb and forefinger. In Boorman's version, the two women are the repressed daughters of a strict French aristocrat (John Hurt) who commissions a painter (Charley Boorman) to depict the duo in their clothed, virginal state. The painter obliges but, as the work progresses, the two curious subjects demand he instruct them in sexual behavior. Unbeknownst to their father, he paints another version, the one hanging in the Louvre.
   Certainly it's capricious, but "Two Nudes Bathing" blends history, art and light humor so smoothly that Boorman's explanation seems plausible. The film is so likable that it could pleasingly beget a series of similar shorts, perhaps by different directors, on the real-life origins of unsigned masterworks.    Starring John Hurt, Charley Boorman and Angeline Ball. Directed, written and produced by John Boorman. A Yorktown production; distribution pending. Drama. Running time: 31 min.
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