Concert Flick Features Elaborate Performances by Ten Color Guard Teams

 

Contemporary Color

Film Review by Kam Williams

Concert Flick Features Elaborate Performances by Ten Color Guard Teams

Color Guards are carefully-synchronized teams which often appear on the field during halftime of high school and football games. Not to be confused with marching bands or cheerleading squads, these highly-choreographed dance troupes wave flags, toss rifles and spin sabres instead of playing musical instruments or executing daredevil acrobatics.

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Because this so-called “Sport of the Arts” has operated in relative obscurity for ages, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Byrne decided to do something about it. So, in the summer of 2015, he staged a concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center featuring ten of the best Color Guard troops around. Furthermore, he recruited ten colleagues, including Lucius, Nelly Furtado, Zola Jesus, Money Mark and Ad-Rock to write original tunes to accompany the groups’ performances.

The upshot of those collaborations is Contemporary Color, a concert flick co-directed by siblings Bill and Turner Ross. Unfortunately, their haphazardly-edited film jumps back and forth between the elaborate parades and behind-the-scenes badinage around the arena so frenetically that you’re never afforded an opportunity to appreciate even one complete presentation from beginning to end.

That attention-deficit approach prevents the viewer from ascertaining whether Color Guards are really entertaining enough to draw an audience on their own, as opposed to merely serving as a sideshow to a gridiron contest. Consequently, Contemporary Color is reminiscent of being forced by your proud, if tipsy, aunt to watch a shaking-camera home movie of a cousin’s poorly-recorded school play or chorus recital.

Fair (1 star)

Rated PG-13 for brief profanity

Running time: 97 minutes

Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories

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