Even the soft-hearted may find this formulaic yarn of a young man's apprenticeship to a cantankerous artist too rosy-hued and treacly.
Local Color at least, has a basis in reality. And that is one of the film's points that reality, no matter how dismal, must contain something of beauty left or we cease being human. Art is the common ground and in the words of Nicoli, "If there is no beauty, there is no art". The film takes place in the time period when Abstract Expressionism and other Shock Art styles were the establishment approved forms of expression. Representational painters like the fictional Nicoli and Andrew Wyeth were attacked by the art establishment as being "retrograde" and "irrelevant". If you are not an artist, you may have missed the battle. I lived through it and experienced the virulent attacks and exclusion of realist artists. Thankfully, modernism bit the well deserved dust and realist art is now taking its place as both modern and relevant.I think viewers will enjoy the art talk, especially the scene where Nicoli discusses a blank, black canvas with a local so-called artist. He explains how he has explored the two dimensional flatness of the canvas. Nonsense? Take a look at Robert Rauschenberg's White Painting (Three Panel).Local Color makes its point while still managing to keep its charm and bittersweetness. It doesn't wallow in sentimentality as it very well could have. Neither is it a dry extolation of the virtues of Art or the lack thereof. It does hit the nail on the head and ends with a feeling that there is hope that no matter how much cruelty life hits us with there is still beauty and hope to be found.This film is well acted, directed with passion and has the authenticity and unvarnished truth of the true story it portrays.
Jul 29 - 10:07 PM