Directed by Robert Altman (USA, 1977, 124 min.). Digital.
When wide-eyed southerner Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek) arrives in a California resort town without a penny or a friend, she forms a reverent attachment to her narcissistic co-worker, Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall). After the two become roommates, their dynamic begins to shift, compelling both women to confront and question their personas. To underscore the film’s themes of identity and transformation, Altman uses shades of lavender, rose, and butter yellow; each of the titular women is tied closely to one of these shades, and as their identities shift throughout the narrative, so do the colors of their clothing. Taken together, the pastel hues create an uneasy feminine dreamscape that feels as much like a state of mind as a geographical location. The abundance of yellow calls to mind Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s story The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), an early work of feminist literature that chronicles the heroine’s declining mental health.
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