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"One of the most important American directors of our time" (Life), Oscar(r) nominee* Robert Altman delivers a "fascinating [and] compelling" (Interview) thriller that delivers an "original cinematic jolt" (Playboy)! Susannah York, who won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role, is "spellbinding" (Filmex) as a woman whose psychological demons are becoming quite real! Suffering from schizophrenia, Cathryn (York) can't seem to shake her hallucinatory apparitions. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she decides there's onlyone way to clear her mind: Kill the people haunting her in her visions. So one by one, she offs herghosts. But are the people she's killing just figments of her imagination or are they real? *Director: Gosford Park (2001), Short Cuts (1993), The Player (1992), Nashville (1975), M*A*S*H (1970); Best Picture: Gosford Park (2001, with Bob Balaban, David Levy), Nashville (1975)
Effectively a "lost film" soon after its original release, this dreamlike yet razor-sharp movie from the amazing early-'70s arc of Robert Altman's career was among the most mesmerizingly beautiful color films ever made. Where on this planet did Altman and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond find such colors, such an awesome fairy-tale landscape? (Ireland, as it happens.) Even more extraordinary was the inside/outside landscape of the heroine's consciousness: this is a movie in which madness is inseparable from imagination. Susannah York gives a brave, supernally freaky performance as a married woman who may be an adulteress, may only be fantasizing about it, may be pregnant, may merely be giving birth to a world. René Auberjonois, Hugh Millais (McCabe and Mrs. Miller's fur-clad assassin), and Marcel Bozzufi play the men in her life, some of whom may be dead, some of whom are going to be. They all exchange names at various times as Cathryn meets herself coming and going, in search of unicorns. --Richard T. Jameson
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Photographed by Vilmos Zsigmund. with an impressive score by John Williams, this is one of great films of the period. It easily stands alongside Five Easy Pieces. American cinema was competing with Europe on its own terms, at this time, and holding its own---but then it all came crashing in when marketing took over and cinema lost its soul for good. (Thank Star Wars, and Jaws and similar blockbusters.)