temmie brodkey 1977 local color

some random shots with temmie brodkey (temi rose) from see photos on flickr

local color a film by mark rappaport

I caught 1977's Local Color on Friday night, and it was like discovering where the (allegedly retiring! Again!) Steven Soderbergh of Schizopolis was born. Right down to its humorously layered (and confusing) nest of characters—including a philandering dentist who liaises with his patients—it became plainly obvious that Hollywood's reigning experimentalist has long been aware of Rappaport's career. I won't ruin the dentist's best gag in the movie, but I will say I haven't heard a voice-over joke go over that well with an audience since I went back in time and saw Annie Hall in the theaters before I was born. How many movies from America's experimental-film undergound are this funny? (I don't mean "chuckle-in-your-oh-so-sophisticated-head" funny, but like legit LOL.) As a dedicated surveyor (and defender!) of the mullingly ponderous, I have to say I think their aggregate number is maybe single digit.

Rappaport described Local Color's emotional wheelhouse as a collision of "flamboyant melodrama in dreary, desperate lives—operatic passions ground underfoot by the crushing flatness of daily existence. It is melodrama stripped bare, drained of the heavy breathing we associate with soap opera…. In a sense, the movie is the plot and the plot is the movie. Except that the plot is irrelevant. Suffice it to say, there is enough of it to choke a horse.”

Says Ebert: "a strange and wonderful movie." by Seth Colter Walls