Cinefamily’s monthlong “House of Psychotic Women” series starts Feb. 1 with Robert Altman’s phenomenal 3 Women, a dreamlike descent into the subconscious of two women whose personalities slowly merge. And though the alluringly titled screening program inspired by Kier-La Janisse’s just-published book of the same name might appear to be making light of the female-centric neuroses seen in the likes of Tony Richardson’s haunting Mademoiselle (screening Feb. 23) and Richard Loncraine’s touching but dated Full Circle (also known as The Haunting of Julia, Feb. 9), its unstated purpose is more in line with making sense of them.
The cinematic depiction of everything from incest to callous murder — embodied in these films by such timeless actresses as Mia Farrow, Shelley Duvall, Jeanne Moreau, Tippi Hedren and Sissy Spacek — makes for an inherently thorny viewing experience, and many of these movies, unsurprisingly, lean toward horror. Even so, there’s more than a little sympathy to be found for the troubled women at the center of these stories.
In addition to those already mentioned, other highlights include Play Misty for Me (Feb. 5), which marked the beginning of Clint Eastwood’s career as a director; David Cronenberg’s The Brood (Feb. 8); and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Feb. 12), David Lynch’s polarizing prequel to his cult TV show that, rather than tie up the many loose ends related to who killed Laura Palmer, showed us who she was in the first place.
HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN | Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave. | Feb. 1-27 | cinefamily.org
Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes