The Color of Time is based on Pulitzer prize-winning poet CK Williams' collection of the same name. The film blends together adaptations of 11 of the poems to create a poetic road trip through CK William's life. The film takes us on a journey through several decades of American life from CK's childhood and adolescence in Detroit in the 1940s and 50s to the early 1980s: CK and his wife Catherine are married with their son Jed. CK prepares for a reading of 'Tar' in New York City, and spends his nights struggling to write new poems, haunted by memories of his past. As CK drives to his reading in New York City, he remembers central moments of his life: we come to experience and understand both his relationship to love and loss, and how he found his calling as a poet through the women in his life. The film takes us back and forth between past and present, punctuated by voice-over from CK Williams' poems, recreating the experience of memory and exploring how the fragments of one's man life ...Written by
11 directors assemble to present an interesting concept based on the autobiographical works of writer C.K. Williams, creating an unusual cine biography of the writer, played by James Franco (as an adult) and Henry Hopper (as a teenage). A road movie that chronicles important passages of Williams life and his views on his own past, present and future. Since I don't know anything of Williams productions neither about his life, I can only analyze the movie for what it brought to the table. I think the idea works, from time to time, but it could be better developed with another character, another artist (Greenaway's "Darwin" is a fascinating example of a fragmented portrayal of a historic figure).
"Tar" doesn't disappoint, though it can leave some audiences confused about the real purpose of the movie, or confused about the constant flashbacks which expose the many experiences of Williams. It's built in the same fashion of "The Tree of Life" (coincidentally or not, Jessica Chastain plays a caring mother of the 1950's once again) but without the same visual splendor and beauty of Malick's masterpiece, despite the marvelous locations and poetic voice overs. I loved the way the "story" moved, quietly and with patience to absorb everything (despite its lack of profoundity), and I enjoyed the acting from the whole cast - though I couldn't figure out what Zach Braff was doing with his tiny part as Williams friend. A good poetic rendition that works as long as you can connect with the artists and the environment envisioned by him. Fans of the author may enjoy it more cause they know his words and can compare if they translate well to the screen. 6/10
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