Tuesday, February 21, 2006

three women











Wow! I can even upload more than one image! Robert Altman's Three Women is so fucking good! It out-Lynches David Lynch years and years before he started to explore the theme of shifting identities in Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. I've never heard anyone compare these two filmakers, but the parallel is so clear in this movie. Of course, this movie is unlike any Altman movie I've seen. I listened to some of the director commentary and Altman was saying the idea of the movie, including that it would star Sissy Spacek and Shelly Duvall, came to him in an dream after he fell into an exhausted sleep on a day when his wife was gravely ill. It didn't really have a full plot or script when it started, just impressions about the setting and the stars, but he pitched it to Fox a couple of days after the dream and the studio system was so much better in the 70's that he could just ask them for a couple million to make it and they easily said yes. No wonder movies were so much better then. This freedom allowed him to make an eerie, dreamlike, totally captivating movie that doesn't have a linear plot or a clear ending. You can't get away with that these days. Shelly Duvall is wonderful, and Altman said that she pretty much created her character from scratch. She's really funny and shows a lack of vanity because it was her idea that her character would think that men were after her when she's so obnoxious that none of them want anything to do with her. Sissy Spacek pretty much plays two roles, one a childlike waif, and the other a cruel, sexy adult and she seems to physically transform back and forth between the two roles. It's crazy. When she's the sexy character she seems to be about 8 years older and a foot taller somehow. I highly, highly recommend this movie. Too bad Thieves Like Us isn't out on DVD yet, now I want to see every Altman/Duvall movie. Kabinet, have an Altman film fest!!!!!

5 comments:

Smitty said...

One of the best things about Asian movies is the studio stays out of it. The producer says, "I need $5 million for a picture" and the studio says "here you go".

Then they get a finished movie back to market.

werenotdeep said...

Altman is good, but I was a bit dissapointed with "Kansas City". Of course, I think that movie might have been taylored around the live soundtrack, which of course was great. I understand that it was a theme picture and that the plot lines sort of just carried the theme more than themselves. Nevertheless, there was all this unnecissary flashback stuff that terminates halfway through the movie anyway, so it's like...why did we need the flashbacks?

You'd think I'd have nothing but good to say about a movie that has a live soundtrack, takes place in the early 30's, and in my home town. Welp...I'd give it one sideways thumb, and a second thumb kinda going up, but not all the way.

Anonymous said...

Is that Ted Nugent showing Sissy how to use a gun in that pic? I have yet to see the film...but plan on it...it would just get bumped up on the netflix list if Nuge was in it.
Mario

Stephen Glass said...

In "A Decade Under The Influence" on IFC, which is pretty much all about how American filmmaking in the 1970s was like no time that came before it, or likely ever will again, Paul Mazurzky gave some great example (that's too lengthy to go into here) about of much easier it was to have Hollywood suits green-light an idea for a movie back then, no matter how offbeat or anticommercial it seemed, so long as you had earned their rspect and trust.
"Three Women" is a good one. I haven't seen it a long, long time, and it's mostly remembererd for when it was made (right before Altman went into sort of creative/commercial funk), rather than what it actually is, which was a great vehicle for the actors, and something really oblique and memorable.
Right after I said last week that I've never in 20 years known "Nashville" to air on television, tonight (Tuesday), it's actually playing on TV, the good kind, Turner Classic Movies at 9:30. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Ask and ye shall receive...

I had originally planned something completely different for April, but I'm nothing if not flexible -- and I'm eager to see THIEVES LIKE US again myself. So how's Sunday April 2nd work for you...?

There are loads of Altman films available on DVD, so rather than a month-long fest of his work alone, I think I'll simply whet folks' appetites, and hope they'll seek out more of his films on their own. But throughout April, I'll be featuring a number of maverick directors under the umbrella theme "American Outlaws." Besides Altman, we'll be screening films by John Cassavetes, Monte Hellman, Sam Peckinpah, and Buster Keaton. Hope this sounds like an appealing program...

And please don't forget that this Sunday, February 26th, we'll be closing out our tribute to Fritz Lang with a screening of METROPOLIS -- featuring a live, improvised score by INSTAGON! The show starts at 8pm, at HQ on the corner of 25th and R. The March calendars will be available then as well...

(Hope this won't get buried, as the original post has fallen quite far down the page. And to the propietor(s) of Heckasac...my apologies if you'd rather not have such blatant promotions on your site. Any chance you could give me an e-mail address so I could send you updates? Then you could make the call as to whether or not you wanted to post them...)

Take care,
J.