Spring Deals Automotive HPC Best Books of the Month Casual Friday Style nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc $5 Albums GNO for Samsung S9 Only: $44.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon MMM MMM MMM  Echo Introducing All-New Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands-free $149.99 Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop now TG18PP_gno

on January 31, 2015
One of the trademarks of Robert Altman's output is he rarely repeated himself, at least in the Seventies, and "Images" is no exception. My admiration grows when I consider his versatility. Be grateful that "M*A*S*H" was a blockbuster otherwise we would not have ambitious offerings like this one. I'm naturally uncomfortable with films dealing with mental illness because I'm a minor sufferer of manic-depression and sometimes they hit a little too close to home. My reference point while watching this film was "A Beautiful Mind" and in retrospect that was rather slick commercial fare. As far as I'm concerned this film doesn't falter on any level. We view this film from the mind's eye of Kathryn (Susannah York) who we are to learn is an unreliable source. Kathryn is having an internal struggle with her good and bad angels. She has to sort out what is real and what is unreal and her intent is to terminate the latter. The kicker is that Kathryn, and we the audience, can't be sure what is real or fantasy. Altman's film has a claustrophobic feeling almost like a portending of doom. John Williams' eerie score and the sound effects augment the feeling of a world closing in on Kathryn. For York this must have been the role of her career. She assays Kathryn's breakdown in stages giving the appearance of serenity to her husband Hugh (Rene Auberjonois) and outsiders while the tenuous house she has erected is slowly crashing down around her. This film may be difficult for some because there are no neon signs flashing that this woman is off her bird. On this disc Altman offers a selected scene commentary that may be helpful in grasping "Images" but I doubt it. Altman's testimony may be deliberately unreliable not unlike Kathryn's. Since this groundbreaking film is no longer in print it would behoove an outfit like Criterion to reissue it.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on September 14, 2017
I've always wanted to see this but didn't want to purchase it sight unseen, so when I had the opportunity to stream it I was very excited to see it. It lives up to the hype and I enjoyed it more than Repulsion which is what it is most often compared to. Great suspense and cinematography. This movie is more for art-house tastes and not really for mainstream consumption.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 11, 2010
This is a a film I'll definitely watch again. I have the feeling it could feel even stronger on repeated viewings. A character study of a schizophrenic from inside her subjective point of view, so the whole story is told by an unreliable narrator. Some fascinating moments, and good tense twists as we (and she) wonder what's real. The film isn't wildly stylized, so the line between hallucination and reality is truly, effectively blurry. On the other hand a lot of the style feels awkwardly dated, and some story elements feel manipulative and not easy to believe. For example, she's very obviously a potentially dangerously disturbed woman, but her husband seems to barely take that in. Even if he's the supercilious prig that Rene Abougenois plays him as, his complete ignoring of her state feels like a cheat. And some twists just feel like they were `a cool idea' at the time, but not rooted in deeper character or story elements. A little like Nic Roeg, but not at his very best. All that said, certainly a must see for any Altman fans - it's not quite like anything else he ever did - although '3 Women' could be seen in some ways as a more mature follow up.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 13, 2005
Images is a long-lost classic that, thankfully, has been rescued from oblivion. I remember seeing it when I was still a teenager and thinking it a work of art. Susannah York proves, once again, that she was one of the great 60s actresses---nervous and intelligent, and full of that fragile sensibility that charcterised the time. Loved her in Sebastian, but this was her film, the film that really gave her a chance to show what she could do. The book that she is writing throughout the film and that forms the accompaniment to her madness was actually written by York herself. Serious and adult, this and Three Women is Altman's pinnacle as an artist, if not as an entertainer.

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.)
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 11, 2010
Images is an early Robert Altman film released in 1972 just after M*A*S*H and McCabe and Mrs. Miller, two of his best films. Images is unlike other Altman films in the sense that what we see is not what actually happens but what is in the mind of a schizophrenic woman, played expertly by Susannah York. The film is beautifully photographed in Ireland and has a dreamlike quality that we also find in the 1977 Altman film 3 Women.
Fortunately the DVD includes a director's commentary, but Altman's explanation leaves a lot of loose ends. I recommend Images, but it may require several viewings to fully understand it.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 27, 2005
A film that's a little like trying to find your way out of a house of mirrors or an attempt to reassemble an image once it has been split by a prism. Since nothing is as it seems, we may as well be inside a fictionalized world; like the Unicorn story the main character, Cathryn, is writing. This fantasy is read aloud throughout the film creating a framework whose only relevance to the story unfolding, is to reassure us that we have stepped into a world that is a creation of the imagination; however, the fact that is comes from the mind of a schizophrenic is hardly reassuring. A glance at the cast of characters hints that they are not necessarily who or what they seem (Hugh is played by Rene, Rene is played by Marcel who is played by Hugh. Cathryn is played by Susannah and Susannah plays Cathryn). Insanity is not an ordering principle of the mind, but rather a vain attempt to put order to an ever-changing palette of images that may or may not be reflections of images within the mind instead of outside. A very atmospheric film made more so by the disturbing score that is not altogether in sync with the action, another technique that constantly keeps the viewer off balance.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 2, 2013
I can not believe Susannah York was not nominated for an Oscar for "Images." She most deservedly should have won in 1973 beating out Liza Minnelli. I know first-hand about shizophrenia, having a schizoid affect, and having a best friend who was a paranoid schizophrenic, and Robert Altman's original screenplay and masterful direction coupled with Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography, all extraordinarily brilliant present the most accurate depiction on film of what it is like to have this illness. The Academy does not know it's stuff. The score by John Williams was the only thing it did nominate. I sincerely thought that Susannah was nominated, having won the Cannes Film Award Best Actress award, and today after viewing the film again after a long spell, had to confirm it and remind myself of her competition. What an oversight. And the comparison to Polanksi's "Repulsion" comes as if the schizophrenia presented in his thriller were a convenient plot device for his fiction. The artists who made "Images" were chillingly precise, nearly clinical, in this, an admitted fiction, like the use of a children's book, "In Search of Unicorns" by Ms. York, to make a stunning portrait that was miles ahead of itself. You should catch up with it. Never was an actress so integral to a film, better than her Oscar nom in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" How could this, too, be over-looked?
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 10, 2014
This is one of the most chilling movies I've encountered, and thus stands for several reasons, apart from Altman's other work. First seeing it in a cinema back in the 70s, I emerged from the theatre quite disorientated. It was only somewhat easier, forty years on in the comfort of my lounge. Minus the big screen's capacity to ape nature, the ravishing Irish countryside played less a part. One upside was the focus on York's mental unravelling as she dips between perceived and imagined realities. Even more noticeable was the stunning score produced by Williams and Yamashta..the latter's percussive effects as unsettling as you'll hear wedded to imagery. I remove a star from this intriguing film for the male lead who failed to convince. And yet, and yet, it might be just this 'failure' that confuses the York character and her distrust of men.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Those Seventies were characterized by the distortion of the reality. The serious physhic fracture suffered by a woman in his early thirties was admirably portrayed by Susannah York (Jan 9, 1939- January 16, 2011) who won the Cannes Festival as Best Actress due this role, certainly one of the twenty top performances of the decade.

The seventies was the most daring decade respect this issue. Films like A woman under influence, Cries and Whispers, Someone flew over the cuckoo's nest, the discrete charm of the bourgeoise, Sybil, The tennant, Scarecrow, Equus, Don't look now, Last tango In Paris, Il portiere di notte, Catch 22, Mr. Klein, The clockwork orange, Aguirre the wrath of God, Life of marionets, The marriage of Maria Braun, The lost honor of Katharine Bloom or The tantalizing of Franz Blum seem to confirm the phenomen was global.

Watch it without reserves. It won't let you down.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 24, 2007
"Images" is another great movie from the master of the living paintings, Robert Altman. It is a brilliant, scary, beautiful, and very disturbing journey inside one woman's mind that was leaving her as the movie progressed. What we saw was not a ghost story but a very real descent to the world of nightmares and monsters that would not stop torturing the struggling and guilty mind for a second.

Susannah York as Cathryn, a young writer who tries to finish a children's book in a remote country home is simply breathtaking. She carries the movie (which only has five characters) almost by herself and being present in every scene, she is equally sympathetic and frightening. In his interview on DVD, Altman mentioned that he had started making the movie in Milan with Sophia Lauren. As much as I admire Lauren, I don't see anyone other than York playing Cathryn. While watching her, I kept thinking of her Alice in Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). Alice, one of the participants and victims of a killing dance marathon, loses her mind by the end of the movie and the scene where she breaks down mentally, was heartbreaking. Altman himself reminded me of the witches from Shakespeare's Macbeth that would throw all kinds of ingredients in their cauldron. The director mentioned how he would add the new details to the script as the real life situations changed: York was writing the children's book about Unicorns at the time - we can hear the long parts of her book in the background. I am not too crazy about the book but the idea seems to be brilliant. York had informed Altman that she could not make the movie because she was pregnant but Altman just decided to add her pregnancy to the script. There is some dry humor in the movie - all five characters have the first names of the actors who played them: Susannah played Cathryn and young Cathryn Harrison plays a girl named Susannah, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi, and Hugh Millais played three men in Cathryn's life - Hugh, the husband, Rene - the neighbor, and Marcel, her dead lover (who was quite alive for a dead man, at least in her memory). John Williams wrote an absolutely unforgettable score for the film (it is not a melody, rather some strange, persistent, scary, and disturbing sounds - very experimental at the time, it is still quite unusual).

As for its visual site - the film that was made during one wet November in Ireland is brilliantly dark and hypnotizingly beautiful. I am jealous of everyone who was able to see it in all its glory on the big screen at the theater - it would be impossible to forget.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse