Today I watched 3 Women, directed by Robert Altman in 1977. It's a really strange, dream-like movie - in fact, in Ebert's essay, he mentions that it actually came to Altman in a dream and he just immediately wrote it down. I love weird dreams, and I'm always really interested in my own, especially vivid ones that really stick with me. I think it explains why I liked this movie so much. I love that it really felt like having an odd dream, just through the acting and the direction. What the film is actually about, or means, is sort of lost on me (and during flooding when I'm stopping to move stuff every few seconds) is not really something I can ponder about. Luckily for me, it seems like even Ebert (and Altman) isn't sure what the film really means.
The movie is about 3 ladies, as you might have guessed. Pinky is a young girl working in a spa in California. there she meets Millie, another woman and they become roommates. They start to get really attached to each other, and hang out at a weird bar owned by a pregnant artist and her husband. They start to steal and trade each other's identities, to the point where they mistake one another and call each other the wrong names. Towards the end of the movie, they seem to settle into a disturbing family unit of some kind.
The movie just feels weird. Everything looks a little off, and I love the use of water in the film. I thought the opening scene, where a blue liquid laps in front of the camera, was too weird when the film started, but as it went on, I started to like the use of water imagery in the film. I feel like it's all I can say, but the movie really did feel like a dream to me. It felt normal, but just slightly different...the way things do in vivid dreams. I really loved how the movie looked and felt, and the cinematography was really cool.
It reminded me a lot of Persona, which I watched earlier for this project, and Ebert says that Altman was inspired by that movie as well. I liked both movies equally, but I loved the dreamlike feel of this movie a lot. I think the idea of personality switching is really strange and fascinating. It makes me feel uncomfortable to watch it, so naturally I really love it! I definitely recommend this movie if you are looking for something different.
Ok, flooding is seriously bad right now. The weather has been so awful this summer! Hope you guys are lucking out better than I am!
Ebert's Great Movie Essay on 3 Women
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