Always attracting top actors, Rudolph’s visual style offers a sort of rapturous expressionism, projecting the characters’ romantic idealism onto the external world through non-realistic lighting, the banishing of context and wonderfully apropos mood music from the likes of Leonard Cohen, Teddy Pendergast, Marianne Faithfull and Alberta Hunter.
Remember My Name (1978), his second feature, is a real rarity, never released on VHS or DVD. Updating the classic woman’s melodrama, it follows a woman (Geraldine Chaplin) released from prison after 12 years who goes in search of her ex-husband (Tony Perkins).
Filmed in the harshly glowing neon style of L.A. painter Ed Ruscha, Choose Me (1984) brings together a group of quirky characters in a round robin of heterosexual pairings. Keith Carradine plays a pathological liar gone AWOL from a veteran’s hospital, proposing marriage to every woman he kisses. When he wanders into a bar run by former hooker (Lesley Ann Warren), he catalyzes a romantic crisis among its patrons and the clientele of “The Love Line,” a call-in radio show for the lovelorn.
Set in the glistening neo-noir world of Rain City, Trouble In Mind (1985) blends traditional suspense and mythical fable with its story of loner Hawk (Kris Kristofferson), both ex-cop and ex-con, and beautiful innocent Georgia (Lori Singer).
A beguiling riff on the search for love in all its elusive and illusory glory, Love At Large (1990) brings a tongue-in-cheek romanticism to the hard-boiled detective genre and features an all-star cast including Tom Berenger, Elizabeth Perkins, Anne Archer, Ted Levine, Ann Magnuson, Kevin J. O’Connor and Kate Capshaw. Based on a novella by Jane Smiley, The Secret Lives of Dentists (2003) is an emotionally complex look at monogamy and marriage. An emotionally repressed husband (Campbell Scott) fantasizes conversations with his most difficult patient (Denis Leary) to avoid confronting his wife (Hope Davis) with his suspicions that