“Contemporary Color” is a documentary about David Byrne’s interest in color guard and his performance project that led to a spectacular 2015 show. Directed by documentarian siblings Bill and Turner Ross, the film follows Byrne as he recruits artists such as Dev Hynes, Nelly Furtado and St. Vincent to write original music for the project and invites various color guard groups from around the country to perform routines to the music.
Now ahead of its March release, Oscilloscope Laboratories has released the first trailer for the musical journey. The clip shows a group of color guard members finding out that they’ve been selected to perform at the event, it also features the athletes rehearsing and taking the stage on the big night.
“I thought it was an incredible art form that was being made,” Byrne told IndieWire about what drew him to this esoteric field. “New Yorkers and lots of other people that I had no idea about that were under the radar. It’s not generally part of the cultures of big cities like this, so I thought, ‘Ah! Let’s put some live music to it and it could be really cool.’”
The film premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won awards for Best Documentary Cinematography and Best Documentary Editing.
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called it a “brilliant show” in his A- review, adding that the Ross brothers “employ a series of cinematic tricks to enhance the experience” to make the film “a compelling immersion into that creativity.”
“Contemporary Color” will be released in theaters on March 1.