Usually comparing a movie to the work of a film student is a backhanded compliment, at best. But that may all change, thanks to the The Color of Time. Inspired by C.K. Williams’ poetry collection, Tar, the film explores the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. And it was conceived of and directed by 12 students from James Franco’s NYU’s Graduate Film program class.
Under Franco’s guidance, the directors collaborated on a pseudo-biopic that erects Williams’ complex life, from his first sexual experience to becoming a father, through a series of flashbacks and vignettes. With an all-star cast that includes Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, and Franco himself, The Color of Time begins in the early ’80s, with Williams preparing to read his poems in New York City. As he grapples with writer’s block, he recalls his childhood in Detroit and how pivotal moments in his life have led him to become a poet. Not quite a bildungsroman and not quite a memoir, the film is a stunning, intellectual view into the life of an individual and artist.
Watch an exclusive clip from the film below. Then catch the entire movie on VOD today and in select theaters this Friday.