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Wheel of Ashes1968

  • 3.8
After being heralded by Jean-Luc Godard as the great hope of the New American Cinema, Peter Emanuel Goldman relocated to Paris just in time for 1968. Social dissolution permeates WHEEL OF ASHES, a stripped-down account of a young man's existential reckoning. "As dust hides a mirror, lust hides the self," reads one of the film's Vedanta-sourced intertitles. And indeed, while the Pierre Clementi protagonist's inner life remains obscure, the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood that offers his temptations appears in harrowing detail. In its nearly clinical treatment of spiritual withdrawal, WHEEL OF ASHES belongs with post-New Wave films by the likes of Jean Eustache and Philippe Garrel. - Max Goldberg

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Member Reviews (2)

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top reviewer

It's a difficult task to display on screen the search for an ascetic lifestyle and the search for spiritual truth---this film does a good job of it, though. Pierre's existential angst rivals for the same attention and space in his head as that of his leg fetish and desire for women. The conflict overtakes his ability to love, and replaces it with a sense of--what we can only assume is--self loathing and guilt. It not only keeps him from loving and committing to his girlfriend, but it alienates her to the point of tragedy and something more serious than just going through a phase. Stylistically, it feels like Goldman is resonating with other 60s depictions in many ways: The familiar style of footage we've seen depicting the fashion, the social and sexual upheaval and revolution, and also the search for a universal higher love. In "Wheel of Ashes," while Pierre doesn't get into drugs, he doesn't quite make it out alive mentally. I wonder what happened to Pierre ...

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top reviewer

really cool well done_ i would have stuck with Anka_he didn't that's ok i like where his head is at i like where the film is at_i've been there