Upstream Color (2013)
Drama/Sci-fi – 96 Minutes
Shane Carruth (Primer)
Perhaps the most mind blowing thing about Upstream Color (and there are many mind blowing things about this film) is the resourcefulness of director Shane Carruth, who not only wrote and directed this film, but stars as the lead, edited, produced, did cinematography, and wrote the original score.
I was familiar with the style and voice of this film before I viewed it, so I knew that the film was going to be cryptic, and was intentionally so. Shane seems to be more interested in asking the audience a beautifully crafted riddle than telling them his ideas for what the answer to the riddle might be. That said, Upstream Color is a beautifully crafted, and sometime bizarre riddle.
The delight of this film isn’t necessarily having the plot presented to us as much as it is piecing together the poetic fragments that Shane has captured. Many viewers that I’ve talked with aren’t able to appreciate Upstream Color, but no one can deny that Shane Carruth has created a complex and beautiful enigma.
If you liked Upstream Color, you should view Shane’s previous film, Primer, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004.