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Local Color1977

  • 3.7
A young artist seeks inspiration from an older man (and freedom from his own father) in this wise and warm coming-of-age tale, one infused with a love for impressionist art and loosely based on director/screenwriter/artist George Gallo's own life. The quiet, dreamy John would rather visit museums or practice painting than play baseball or chase girls, a fact that gives no end of worry to his rough-hewn, anxiously homophobic father John Sr. (Ray Liotta, breathing fire). When a local art aficionado turns him on to the impressionist paintings of reclusive Russian immigrant Seroff (Armin Muehler-Stahl) and then informs him that Seroff lives nearby, John impulsively decides to find Seroff and hopes that the man will teach him. Unfortunately, their first meeting doesn't quite go as planned ("I don't teach and I don't paint," Seroff huffs before slamming the door). But John's perseverance (not to mention his gifts of vodka) soon sways the gruff old maestro. Learning about painting is one thing. Learning about life is something else and, as the summer progresses, both men discover new ways to see the world and all the colors within. As the prickly, embittered Seroff, Armin Muehler-Stahl anchors the film with a wisdom and a sly rage all his own while, as the young John, Trevor Morgan provides an appealing, youthful charm. As a young man, director Gallo studied with the landscape painter George Cherepov and later was featured in three one-man exhibitions in New York. His love for painting (and for the respite it represents) is apparent in every frame of this gentle, inspired film. - Jason Sanders

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"[M]y favorite Rappaport film." - Jonathan Rosenbaum


Member Reviews (4)

So, what to say about "Local Color". At first it comes off self important and so artsy for its own sake I wanted to turn it off immediately...but I kept watching. It takes some time to become immersed in this minimalistic world but eventually it pulls you in. "Local Color" is full of lines that are extremely empathetic to the human condition and haunting scenes that will leave you pressing the rewind button. Once you get past the deadpan dialog you'll find that "Local Color" truly is well written and that the emotions are found in the subtext and subtle dialog.

The plot revolves around eight people who are involved in infidelity, sexual abuse, infanticide, and incest in one way or the other. Not typically topics I care to watch in a movie but watch I did and I'm glad I stuck with it.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

*I do not know the intent of the filmmaker = reviews are typically nothing but opinion and speculation. This one is no different.*

Very complex character driven film - by watching the Rappaport films chronologically you can see the ensemble skill of the director growing stronger and stronger.

His films seem to be true to his vision almost right away - although this is his most complex film up to this point, and possibly the most accessible of what I have seen, the trademarks I've come to associate with his films from the beginning are still very much intact.

I've found myself thinking about this film more and more - the elaborate sets that remind you you're watching a film entertain and keep the experience memorable - but what is more it's just so damned accurate.

A great and very affecting film. It is quietly intriguing, devastating, and hopeful often in the same scene. Highly recommended.

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top reviewer

starts out dumb then gets cool then takes turns being dumb & cool_can't stand the dentist_sorta hoped his not wife would have x'd him at the start_but it is trippy oddball & fun i hope the daughter has a great time

I really like this movie a lot. I'm not always sure why--but I've come back to it again and again, I've shown it to friends, I've rarely anyone who likes it as much as I do, but I pretty much always decide they're wrong.