Close Up

13 - 22 January 2017: 3 Women


3 Women

Robert Altman
1977 | 116 min | Colour | Digital

"One of Altman's most hallucinatory creations was actually conceived from a dream he had of Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in the desert, starring in a film about "personality-theft." Every frame tinged by an ineffable eeriness and a subtly stylized aesthetic, the film opens onto a disturbing space of reflected and imperfect doubling, of disempowered projection onto unstable surfaces. The naïve blank slate of Spacek's Pinky Rose parasitically attaches to Duvall's Millie Lammoreaux who in turn has crafted an entire persona from the empty promises of consumer culture. Hypnotically saturating Millie in equal parts pathos and comedy, Duvall improvises dizzy monologues as if her life were a Redbook or Woman’s Day magazine. Meanwhile, the "third" woman expresses herself silently and potently through mythic paintings and mosaics depicting a domineering patriarchy. The triangulated transference of personas turns alternatingly imperceptible and jarring corners, transforming the film and reassembling the alienated trio into an unconventional configuration, the door to which Altman leaves open just enough for the viewer to participate in its reformation." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Robert Altman season