3 Women

3 Women ★★★★★

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3 Women is a timeless work of American psychedelia that has preserved the scorching heat and vibrant hues of a thousand long-gone summer days, like a painted Greek vase serves as the keeping place of souvenirs from a volcano. It's a film of contrasts; it's atmospheric and lush, yes, but I also find it organic and detailed, abiding by dream logic. It's introduced by these cryptic murals that look both ancient and futuristic at once; for the film, they had to be painted at night because the sun made the paint boil. It is indeed a story that shows its true colours after dark, from magic hour and beyond when light is about to be transformed.

"Do you like yellow and purple? They're my favorite colors. Like irises."

I'm raised in a very feminine home and I see it as a story about the different stages of womanhood speaking to each other in the same realm, like the famous painting by Klimt; wisdom and pain handed down to the next generation; the presence of snakes suggesting the chain is infinite and eternal. I had a field day analyzing the colours - Shelley is always dressed in, and surrounded by pastel yellow tones (the film has named them "lemon satin"), they really suit her and highlight her elegance and trusting innocence. To get home, she follows purple stairs and railings to a purple door - a colour associated with the mystic realm, and Sissy is guided by the same purple trail to the swimming pool that one faithful night. I love these actresses and the skill, chemistry and unique charms they bring to this project; as the story goes, Altman dreamed them and the whole film up, and since it feels as the kind of story I'd make myself, are his dreams so different from mine?

ps. i recommend playing this song during the dream sequence

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