The Color Of Time

Studio: Starz
Various Filmmakers

Dec 11, 2014 Web Exclusive
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The Color of Time seamlessly weaves together the work of 12 different writer/directors, all NYU film students. The result is a dreamy, overwrought adaptation of poet C. K. Williams’ life and work. Although the structure is impressively cyclical—bouncing around from decade to decade without an explicit beginning or end—clichés abound. Jessica Chastain is typecast as Williams’ mother, a saintly 1950s housewife perpetually backlit, looking over her shoulder with a half smile. James Franco (who also produced) plays adult Williams woodenly, hunched over a typewriter wistfully recalling his youth. The film reduces a man’s life and his work to a few lens flares and a freckled boy looking out the window of a moving car. Why Williams participated in this project (he shows up a couple of times reciting his poetry, representing the elder version of himself), thus condoning this sophomoric attempt to adapt poetry to film, is beyond explanation. The Color of Time serves as a reminder that literalizing and adapting poetry for the screen is usually not a good idea.

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Author rating: 2/10

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