By Rory L. Aronsky | January 20, 2004

Courtesy of “American Movie Treasures”, and hosted by Saul Rubinek (who can replace Ben Mankiewicz anytime during the weekend on Turner Classic Movies), we are introduced to a film that David Mamet “made” in 1989, “Gilded Stones”. Director James Dodson has impressively managed to mimic Mamet’s style for this short, along with 2 other directors, whom we’ll get to in a minute, or a couple of seconds, depending on your reading speed.

Rosanna Arquette stars as a Tupperware-selling woman who’s not happy that her babysitter suddenly cancelled on her. The “teenage c**t” as Arquette refers to the babysitter, reneged on her obligation because her mother had a kidney stone and had to go to the hospital. Elizabeth Perkins is her friend who listens to Arquette’s rant, which amusingly observes the Mamet style of writing. Soon, Rubinek comes back on to tell us that the rest of the film was lost in a MGM vault fire in 1998. Director Martin Scorsese was called in to do a restoration of sorts and what we get next will have people laughing that are aware of Scorsese’s restoration efforts. What we get out of this is Rosanna Arquette beating the s**t out of Perkins, banging her head on the oven door, before the guns come out. I’m a little disappointed that Dodson got only this much out of Scorsese’s work, but he makes up for it in the next part, in which Rubinek tells us that due to creative differences, Scorsese did not complete the rest, and John Woo came in to finish up.

With this sequence, you get the biggest a*s-load of white doves flying around and Perkins firing two guns in slo-mo as she falls to the ground. Observing the styles of these three directors was a great idea and it’s hilarious through and through. Missing this is a major missed opportunity and it should be seen, if only to see the styles of three directors in separate sequences, but dealing with the same piece of film; three directors that won’t likely work together anyway.

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  1. Candace says:

    This was one of the most hilarious shorts ever with the three different directing styles making mockeries of themselves and actors bring back to life something to be lost in a fire. However, where as it was released to be part of a film festival is there any way to find it again to view? I’ve found reviews and mentions but cannot find the actual video online anymore and rarely, if ever, for purchase. Where did it go?

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