Local Color (1977)


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
  • 1977-04-20 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • N/A Writer:
  • Mark Rappaport Director:
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