Wheel of Ashes Wheel of Ashes

After being heralded by Jean-Luc Godard as the great hope of the New American Cinema, Peter Emanuel Goldman relocated to Paris just in time for 1968. Social dissolution permeates WHEEL OF ASHES, a stripped-down account of a young man's existential reckoning. "As dust hides a mirror, lust hides the self," reads one of the film's Vedanta-sourced intertitles. And indeed, while the Pierre Clementi protagonist's inner life remains obscure, the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood that offers his temptations appears in harrowing detail. In its nearly clinical treatment of spiritual withdrawal, WHEEL OF ASHES belongs with post-New Wave films by the likes of Jean Eustache and Philippe Garrel. - Max Goldberg

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