Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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…
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.
I sort of wish the film ended at the 'dream' sequence. Altman remains perfectly ambiguous until then, and even had he not resolved the mystery, there would have been more than enough to draw one's own conclusions from it. It's in those final 10 minutes that the film becomes erratic and incoherent. Like Lost Highway, making sense doesn't seem to Altman's motive; but unlike Lynch's piece, the way Altman lays out the rest of the film seems to suggest it's leading somewhere concrete, leaving its resolution unfulfilling, vague, and virtually unknowable.
However, that's merely a fraction of the picture. The rest, following the eerie relationship shared between Duvall and…
I was not ready for what I just watched. A seemingly innocent tale about two roommates who don't get along turns into a weird, near psychological horror.
There are some sequences in this movie that totally throw you off (in a good way of course). It's slow but never boring. I think that's mostly due to the fact that Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek are both excellent. It's a pretty quiet character study for the majority of the film and then it turns and gets dark and awesome.
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.
A very slow and very trippy film. I don't even know what to really think of this after only one viewing. I had no idea this film was a mind fuck like this. I would rate this even higher but this one really hurt my brain and I think I need one more watch to see how it holds up. I hadn't even heard about this. I was just flipping through Netflix and saw that this was directed by Altman so it it was a complete impulse watch. I almost want to go back and watch this again right now. Very cool film!!
Altman's crack at Persona, a nervous twit of a movie that feels off from the moment Sissy Spacek's mouse of a character, Pinky (aptly named), is introduced and just keeps getting weirder as her friendship grows with Millie, the confident one who is completely oblivious to how off-putting her bizarro Gidget facade is to everyone around her. This favors cringe-inducing character interaction over plot and yet still finds plenty of opportunity for its players to jockey against each other for position, keeping a high level of interest along the way in what can possibly be described as a mad struggle to define femininity as something separate from dinner parties, beguiling men, and wearing pretty things. Even when things go all…
There was a period of time where revered American filmmakers were taking a stab at making their very own Bergman movie. Woody Allen has INTERIORS. Robert Altman has 3 WOMEN, which is a weird, intriguing, somewhat impenetrable film dealing with dualities and personality shifts. Apparently this was inspired by a dream that Altman had one night that he couldn't shake.
Lots of mirror shots!
Review at Next Projection: nextprojection.com/2014/08/22/company-man-best-robert-altman-3-women-review/
Robert Altman’s 3 Women (1977) is replete with psycho-sexual tension. From beginning to end, the atmosphere captivates the viewer. It is at once disturbing and provocative, constantly luring one into the void which subsumes both the film and its characters. Taking note from Bergman’s Persona (1966), Altman crafts a story of post-modern decay by juxtaposing the erasure of psychological identity with the vapidity of social identity. Themes of alienation and social emptiness give rise to the lack of communicability between friends, mothers, and self. Presenting images of abstract bodies and fractured dreams, Altman’s Lynchian mood-piece reaches into a world of interiority so profoundly bizarre yet uncannily familiar it can be quite alarming.
The film’s greatness…
Amazing, yet absolutely alienating and entirely inaccessible.
Having seen Nashville earlier this summer, I can now see the amazing range of Robert Altman. Though it moves slowly, this film is beautiful to look at, and highly captivating. Shelly Duvall and Sissy Spacek are absolutely incredible here. The ambiguity is brilliant, and I can't say I understand the final minutes of the film. I really loved this.
3 WOMEN is one of those excellent films that resonate with the viewer on a level beyond just recognizing their craft.
The film achieves such an effect due to its bizarre structure. The first 45 minutes are an incredibly naturalistic two roommate meet movie. The enormous amount of attention paid to character detail and idiosyncrasies and the minutiae of day-to-day life, along with two superb performances from Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek make the film feel very real, engrossing, and affecting. But then something happens, and everything is turned on its end. What follows is a vast array of surreal and disturbing scenes, plot lines, and images. The change in material is so expertly handled and jarring that it is…
As my first exposure to Altman, this film caught me by surprise.
The visual language is stunning and certainly the most commendable aspect of the film. Altman draws exclusively from a palette of dusty pastels, from the film's early languid poolside scenes (comprised mostly of long, lingering shots) to it's climax - a delirious and abstracted montage, pieced together from various haunting moments throughout the film. These easily recognizable elements are ubiquitous: Willie's portentous drawings, the gently undulating aquatic filter-work, and motifs of doubling and reflection (one such symbol being Millie fractured visage). Much of the run time is spent on grainy, bobbing close-ups and general fixation on these motifs to establish a symbolic foundation for the story.
a movie about the venn diagram overlap between Wendy Torrance and the Creature from the Black Lagoon
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…