The Color Wheel
Directed By: Alex Ross Perry
Written By: Carlen Altman and Alex Ross Perry
Starring: Carlen Altman, Alex Ross Perry, Bob Byington, Ry Russo-Young, Roy Thomas, and C. Mason Wells
Director of Photography: Sean Price Williams, Editor: Alex Ross Perry
If one were to just look at a description of The Color Wheel on paper, one would expect the next film in the often unimaginative mumblecore movement. The writer-director-actor, Alex Ross Perry has been linked before with Joe Swanberg and Andrew Bujalski. C. Mason Wells co-worte and starred in Swanberg’s LOL. Ry Russo-Young is another one of the mumblecore filmmakers and has a small role here. And the film’s plot involves a lot of dialogue about 20-somethings trying to figure out their lives. But it only takes the first image of 16mm black and white grain and the soul songs of the 1970s for The Color Wheel to transport us to a different world. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
It’s not that Perry’s film is completely stripped of any relation to the mumblecore movement, but The Color Wheel has much more on its mind, both visually and thematically, than those of his filmmaking generation’s counterparts. Perry made a small if notable dent in filmmaking with his first film, Impolex (Less of an adaptation of Thomas Pychon’s Gravity’s Rainbow than a parody of its cult status), but he launches himself into a unique stratosphere of filmmakers to watch with this abrasive and uniquely bold comedy about sibiling-hood.