3 WOMEN
1977, 20th Century Fox, 124 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Director Robert Altman’s dazzlingly brilliant study of three different women who have more in common than one initially imagines, with everything from consumer culture to macho role-playing skewered as the narrative unfolds. Clueless but sweet Millie (Shelley Duvall), working at a convalescent resort, takes young, naive Pinky (Sissy Spacek) under her wing, and both become gradually caught up in the strange relationship between reclusive artist Willie (Janice Rule) and her husband (Robert Fortier, who seems to be channeling Hunter S. Thompson). Fascinatingly offbeat and at times frightening, as the heart of the characters’ lives is stripped bare to reveal a quirky core as empty and arid as their desert community.


COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN
1982, Cinecom Pictures, 109 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Director Robert Altman directs this elegant cinematic adaptation of Ed Graczyk's Broadway play, which observes the interactions between a group of women holding a 20-year reunion of their James Dean fan club. Over the course of their get-together, the old friends expose painful secrets and stunning revelations, all of which are powerfully conveyed by a cast that includes Sandy Dennis, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, and, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance, Cher.


THE PLAYER
1992, Warner Bros., 124 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Director Robert Altman and writer Michael Tolkin mercilessly rip apart the self-important execs at major movie studios who study demographics, have story conferences, listen to writers’ absurd pitches and basically create grist for the mill, and they conjure a spot-on satire in the process. Tim Robbins’ appropriately-named character Griffin Mill is the kind of lowest-common-denominator advocate of whom it could be said, "If he ever had an original thought it would die of loneliness." After accidentally killing a writer who has been harassing him, Mill tries to cover his tracks but becomes mesmerized by the dead scribe’s girlfriend (Greta Scacchi). Simultaneously badgered at work by another exec, Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher) who is after his job, Mill gradually, hilariously unravels. With Whoopi Goldberg, Lyle Lovett, Fred Ward, Vincent D’Onofrio.


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