Movies that are slightly off.
1 woman became 2, 2 women became 3, 3 women became 1
Pinky is an awkward young teen who starts work at a spa in the CA. Desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's roommate. Mille is a lonely outcast who desperately tries to win attention with constant upbeat chatter. They hang out at a bar owned by a strange pregnant artist and her has-been cowboy husband. After each of 2 emotional crises, the three woman steal and trade each other's personalities until they settle into a new family unit that seems to give each woman what she was searching for.
Born from a dream and sharing the same inconsistent logic, Robert Altman’s 3 Women is a strange and elusive drama exploring the transitory nature of identities. Although best known for his narratively complex ensemble dramas it is Altman’s experimental chamber pieces that provide some of his most interesting work.
As the title implies, 3 Women, is centred on the complicated and shifting relationships between three women in the Californian desert. Sissy Spacek stars as the naive Pinky, a young woman from Texas who becomes obsessed with her colleague and roommate, Millie (Shelley Duvall). Millie is a woman with a deluded sense of confidence who is blindly ignored by all those around her. The third woman in this triumvirate is Janice…
I admire Altman's craft, certainly, when he delivers images like Millie crossing a massive mural of mutated, naked human beings with their genitals askew and erect, their faces distorted in what looks to me like horror. Or when he shows just a bit of Millie's dress sticking out from her car door (the first image I needed to capture in this film) or Pinky's curled, broken form in the pool (or just before, standing up to the rail). Some of these evoke wonder, some horror, some just surreal desire (what can I say). But.
Well, before but. Everyone seems to talk about how the three women merge into one balanced being or whatever, but no one really seems to reflect…
A lot of Altman's films feel like dreams to me but this was the only one literally based on one. It is also the one that by the end, appears unfinished, like all dreams, but still feels like a full journey has been taken. Altman received the green light from 20th Century Fox without a finished screenplay, only the dream idea and who would play the leads. Further evidence of how much influence was turned over to these rule-breaking maverick filmmakers in the 70s. Makes modern studio output look like the nightmarish comittee-approved, watered down, juvenile-marketed, Twilight Zoney counter-universe that we all know it has become.
Not much to add to my Time Out New York review, written for its Film Forum run in 2002, back when there was still no DVD. I've seen this three times now and on both repeat viewings it's turned out to be much weirder and more impervious to analysis than I remembered. That's mostly a good thing.
An insert provided with the DVD of Mulholland Drive offers "David Lynch's ten clues to unlocking this thriller," directing confused viewers to "notice appearances of the red lampshade" and "pay particular attention to the beginning of the film." Robert Altman's 3 Women—a tour de force of dream logic set in Southern California, involving two young women whose identities shift like tectonic…
the failure of an attempted escape from a self-replicating cycle of inherited behavior, a whirlpool of prescribed femininity, its transmission from generation to generation a form of psychological transference. Janice Rule fires bullet after bullet at a picture of a snake eating its own tail.
I cannot begin to fathom, let alone fashion, a proper response to such pure cinematic poetry. As with seeing STRAW DOGS and KING LEAR before it, here is another of those all too terribly rare lucid viewing experiences. Discovering this film tonight, on 35mm, makes me feel confident that more or less waiting to thoroughly investigate Robert Altman's work by way of UCLA's very near-complete retrospective is a kind of incredible (if incidental) fortune. I'll also never forget the nameless man in tonight's audience who suddenly stood up during the film's final reel, as if unable to sit, and never sat back down until the end credits. It may be nothing, it may remain unexplained, but part of me feels as if the film elicited such an intense kinesthetic response (discomfort? terror? confusion?) that - for this man - sitting was simply not an option.
Some people know what the hell they're doing. Jesus H.
This is my first Altman film, and I'm definitely excited to see more. His talent as a director is immediately evident. I didn't like Duvall in The Shining right away, not because it was a bad performance, but because I couldn't see her as the Wendy from the book. I was instantly amazed by her performance here, though. The score would also probably be the best of a year that didn't also have Star Wars and Suspiria.
Altman's "3 Women" is filled with all the emotion and horror of it's spiritual successor, "Mulholland Dr.", and like that film, its power lies in the journey, not in whether or not it is able to to sum everything up in a nice neat box.
Also, the recipes! Cheeze Whiz filled pigs in a blanket with pudding cups? Yes please.
I dislike both Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek - clearly this is not the film for me ...
Not much to say so I'll keep it simple and plain, I thought it was good but not great and nowhere near the best Altman I've seen.
Altman's at his most abstract, not to mention symbolic, surreal, haunting. Clearly owes a little something to Persona.
Cinematic catnip for me. Weirder han anyone could possibly be expecting (including myself ten minutes in, half way through, and before the last 30 minutes). Feminity as inherited psychology, a transference and cyclical distortion, splitting off like nuclear decomposition. Truly dreamlike in that when it shifts, it shifts to the inverse, and then to the side, so that it's always got room to bifurcate itself further. God how can films be so good.
A film about cruelty. Pure, unadulterated cruelty born of the human desire to feel superior, to gain power, to gain connections, to earn the respect of others by trampling on those we deem lesser - and how those who are trampled on take out their own frustrations on the even less fortunate.
After what I saw of Altman's Nashville, I thought he exhibited a contempt for all of his characters, as if human beings and their feelings were just pathetic jokes to him. But this film reveals a deep, humane understanding of the pain of a lifetime spent being bullied, abused, and ignored, and the unbelievably dark, terrible things it can lead to.
The first half can be a drag…
Even weirder than I remembered it being - but Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall are captivating. You can't take your eyes off them (and, actually, I wish the camera didn't so often...just to show me those murals again).
Alternatives to Sight and Sound's Top 250 Films of All Time list named by /r/truefilm's community. With notes. Inspired by…
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.