Title – Upstream Color (2013)
Director – Shane Carruth (Primer)
Cast – Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins
Plot – Much of Upstream Color’s plot could be differently interpreted by each viewer. It also must be said that the least amount of knowledge about the films intricacies will make for a better watching experience. Upstream Color deals with identity, life and love all in a nonlinear way. This includes the involvement of pigs, a mysterious parasite and even more mysterious humans.
“I have to apologize. I was born with a disfigurement where my head is made of the same material as the sun.”
Review by Eddie on 29/07/2013
Shane Carruth burst onto the indie movie scene with his 2004 debut sci-fi thinker Primer. Primer was a film small on budget yet huge on ideas, a film that showcased Carruth as a huge talent of the medium. It may have taken 9 years for him to return but Upstream Color is every bit as thought provoking and original as Primer yet sadly may lack sufficient character growth to push it into classic territory.
Upstream Color is an impressively shot, edited and scored film, which is made all the more special when you consider Carruth himself did all of those. The film never once does things in a typical way, from the seriously eerily and downright creepy start to the unnerving scenes featuring sound recordings and a large pig pen. It’s a brave way to make a film and a wholly original story that sadly just doesn’t offer up enough character movement.
Seimetz as Kris and Carruth himself (what doesn’t he do?) as Jeff are what you would call the central figures but we as an audience never feel truly invested in there story and eventual plight. It could be argued that the story presented in the film doesn’t need your normal figures but it just feels less a film than it ought to when there are just so many unique and wonderful things happening on screen. ‘
It’s terribly hard to review Upstream Color without ruining what can only be described as an oddity, either for better or worse. Carruth has constructed a film that should be applauded for its new ideas and fantastic production values. Upstream Color offers up a thought provoking sci-fi, a film that may well deserve to be studied on and appreciated for a fresh piece of film art. Carruth is very close one feels to a bonified masterpiece; let’s hope his next project can be the one.
3 parasites out of 5.