This is pretty frustrating.
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…
5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films – Round 2
Director Count: #2 of 5
Challenge Count: #17 of 25
3 Women is dreamy, confusing and bizarre, but such an entrancing and chilling film experience that is unlike any other Altman films i've seen. There's plenty of dark humor and hints of surrealism, absurdism and ambiguity, and the inspiration from Persona is pretty clear as the two women begins to switch roles, but it still manages to be its own thing. The film looks great and has an air of mystery, the acting is outstanding with both Spacek and Duvall showing incredible range, the score has a mysterious and haunting vibe to it which contributes to the feeling of unease, and…
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.
Ok... It's probably gonna be a full 5 on a rewatch, but for now I'll leave it as it is, because I didn't completely get it yet. I have to think, watch it again, think some more. What I can say right now is that:
It's one of those films. Unique. There is nothing like it. It has a level of uniqueness that I wonder if I ever could hope to accomplish. Nothing is for accident, everything has a reason. Every little thing, the most subtle of details that you'll miss if you're not looking carefully, is essential. Sissy Spacek is the most precious thing on this Earth. She shares the screen with a exceptional Shelley Duvall, but she shines brighter than anything else. The whole movie is a mystery. The characters are mysteries. Their reasons are mysteries. Their endgame is a mystery. Nothing is clear, and yet, everything is.
God damn, son.
[socialization, friendship, alienation, sex, violence, materialism]
Well this is more disturbing than I could've imagined. Millie's (Shelley Duvall) self-obsession and isolation juxtaposed with Pinky's (Sissy Spacek) aloof sociopathy create an absolutely horrifying cycle of events in this Persona-esque, shattered mirror narrative.
This film touches on perhaps my greatest fear: the inability to communicate, empathize, and be heard/understood. Altman explicates this sensation so completely and evocatively that it's difficult to even talk about/ come to terms with it.
Inscrutable yet mesmerizing. One of Robert Altman's richest works, this one completely upends any expectations going in and emerges as his most quasi-mystical work. Shelley Duvall, who collaborated with Altman on the script (which was unfinished at the time shooting began), won a well-deserved Best Actress award at Cannes. Sissy Spacek is also endlessly fascinating in this. Both ladies received multiple award nods and Roger Ebert voted this his Film of the Year for 1977. Highly recommended.
wildly detailed and so fully realized and dreamlike? this is a slow, slow burn but i was hooked from the moment it started. it's vivid and confusing and doesn't give you any answers but leaves you searching for something that might not even be there but it doesn't matter? shelley duvall is a literal dream.
Sry but it creeps me the hell out if these are the types of dreams men are having!!! If its true this came from a dream altman had
“Ever since you moved in here you've been causing me grief. Nobody wants to hang around you. You don't drink, you don't smoke. You don't do anything you're supposed to do!”
1. There are films that create a dream-like demeanor with symbolism, imagery, and metaphysical tactics in order to keep the viewer an arm’s length away while essentially begging them to come up with their own ideas, thoughts, and conclusions about what is real and what is not. Films like Persona and Mulholland Drive, for example. I feel like 3 Women attempts to reach that allegorical depth but the loose ends are too loose and the story convolutes on itself a little too much at times.
UPDATED: October 21, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.