The Color Wheel (Cinema Conservancy) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Color Wheel

Studio: Cinema Conservancy/Factory 25

Jul 05, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer
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Voted the No.1 undistributed film in both The Village Voice and Indiewire‘s 2011 polls, Alex Ross Perry’s sophomore feature The Color Wheel has at last been picked up for release by NYC’s Cinema Conservancy.

Critically touted films undistributed for a lengthy stretch are often that way for a reason, namely a highly idiosyncratic, uncompromising artistic ethos without a whiff of commercial potential. The Color Wheel is unsurprisingly similar to this template, as it’s shot on grainy 16mm, in black and white, with pitch-black gallows humor leavening discomfiting subject matters.

The film’s two protagonists, brother and sister Colin and JR (played by the director Perry and co-writer Carlen Altman, respectively), go on a road trip ostensibly to gather the latter’s belongings from an ex-lover’s home. What they end up on instead is a circuitous journey to the depths of their inner psyches, like a fever dream outtake from Todd Solondz’s Happiness,delivered with a self-aware verisimilitude redolent of the early works of John Cassavetes.

The Color Wheel isn’t an easy film to like, or watch even, but it sears its brazen imagery onto your subconscious, like the spots you see after staring into a bright light for too long. The film may be shot in stark black and white, but its lingering impressions burn as brightly as a peacock’s feathers. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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