Photo of Shelley Duval from Robert Altman’s 3 Women, on the wall at StudioFilmClub
The late Robert Altman claimed that 3 Women came to him in a dream. It must have been a very strange dream, because the film is a strange, unsettling one. Loosely based on Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, his classic study of two women in a tense, emotionally and psychologically vampiric relationship, 3 Women adds one more woman and a hazy, California-desert feel–as well as some off-kilter humour–to the mix. The film looks at the idea of multiple selves and the taking on of different personae, and as it progresses, each woman, at first with her own clearly defined individual identity, at different times assumes different aspects of the other women’s characters until finally they become some less-than-holy female trinity, three persons in one.
At least, that’s (partly) my take on it, from seeing the film for the first time at StudioFilmclub in Laventille last night, the first of four nights of screenings there as part of the TTFF09. The screenings are curated by US writer and critic Hilton Als, who will be at StudioFilmClub tonight for the second evening of screenings, which includes Leslie Thornton’s experimental feature-length film, Peggy and Fred in Hell.
Last night’s screening was not only the first night of screenings at SFC as part of the TTFF, but also the debut of a new HD projector, which, along with the recently-acquired cinema speakers (one from an old cinema in Trinidad, another from a cinema in Germany) and a Blu-Ray DVD player, will take the audio-visual experience at StudioFilmClub–which has been showing a mix of mainstream and independent, English and non-English language films for some five years now–to an exciting new level.
Also fairly new at SFC is the stand-alone bar area, where patrons last night limed before and after the film screening.