The Color Wheel | Chicago Reader

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83 minutes · 2011

Comedy, Comedy drama, Drama
Shot on 16-millimeter, this cheapo black-and-white road movie (2011) by Alex Ross Perry is the most compelling New York indie I've seen since Ronald Bronstein's Frownland (2007). An angry young looker (Carlen Altman) and her tall, dorky brother (Perry) set off on a car trip to reclaim her stuff from the broadcasting professor who's just terminated their teacher-student romance. Most of the movie consists of the two siblings mercilessly needling one another about their gaping emotional flaws, and the nasty banter is so cruel, knowing, and funny that only in the end does one realize it's sheer compulsion. Altman and Perry wrote the movie together, and despite the relentless verbal combat, they're smart enough to let a devastating scene at the end play out in near silence.

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