- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Many a presentable independent feature struggles to get made or distributed. Two intriguing examples open tomorrow: Crazy Like a Fox, a social comedy shot near Middleburg, Va., five years ago; and Water, a historical drama that needed to be reshot in Sri Lanka after the original production in India was harassed by political fanatics in 2000.

“Fox” showcases Roger Rees as a proud but improvident Virginia landowner, Nat Banks, who finagles to reclaim his family estate. Written and directed by Richard Squires, this first feature demonstrates a humorous and scenic flair while trying to defend Nat’s incorrigibility, hard to excuse in some respects. The principal location, Wellbourne, may be familiar to many as a bed-and-breakfast retreat in the Virginia countryside.

“Water” evokes a haunted residence of 1938 vintage: an ashram for widows that the filmmaker enters along with an 8-year-old child bride, understandably bewildered by her fate and strangely cloistered new surroundings. The final installment in a thematically linked trilogy about India by Deepa Mehta, “Water” was forced to cancel production in the holy city of Varanasi when Hindu fundamentalists professed to be outraged by its subject matter. The project was quietly revived and completed on locations near Colombo five years later.

— Gary Arnold

Photographer Connie Imboden, currently showing at Bethesda’s new Heineman Myers gallery, gets around: She has shown at galleries in Paris, Caracas and Santa Fe, N.M., and has done photo workshops in Prague and Havana, among other cities. When you visit Re-Formation: Connie Imboden, you’ll see why she has a following. All taken underwater, the images distort to great effect the nude human body, male and female, in ways that accentuate its sensual aspect and sometimes render it grotesque. At Heineman Myers, 4728 Hampden Lane, noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday through May 13. Free. 301/251-7900.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

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