Upstream Color

Upstream Color

DVD - 2013
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Kris is derailed from her life when she is drugged by a small-time thief. She is unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world, moving to nematodes, plant life, livestock, and back again. Along the way, she finds another being-a familiar, who is equally consumed by the mysterious presence. The two search urgently for a place of safety within each other as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of their wrecked lives.
Publisher: [United States] : Flatiron Film Company, c2013
Branch Call Number: UPS
Characteristics: 1 dvd (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 cm

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p
Punnoval
Jul 27, 2020

Was this a tale of a woman who:

1. Is suffering from a case of the DT's after a Tequila bingeout at a local pig farm?

2. Was recently let out from the insane asylum and forgot to take her meds?

3. Is having hallucinations about a crummy boyfriend who might be a nice guy (especially if he is the director?)

4. is a hot-shot entrepreneur who is planning on presenting her company "L'il Piggy's Orchids" to Dragon's Den?

--- or, is it a synergy of all four?

Damned if I knew, so after the film was over, I rushed to the internet to find out the "official" version.

Surprise, surprise... it was a "rob 'n' rape" fantasy posing as "science" fiction. I suppose Mr. Shane figured that since he was a "Mathematics" graduate he could pass off this sack of infantile drool as a profound statement.

h
HollaLar98
Oct 11, 2019

In many ways, a film well done. I found it because upon a conversation about Carruth's first film, "Primer," someone recommended this as "more accessible."

Umm... no.

Sometimes we mistake a director's confidence to manifest a WAY-out-of-mainstream vision as brilliance. It IS brilliant in a way - the mood, the mystery, the general cinematography - but taking away from that is a plot nearly as undecipherable as a Jackson Pollock.

But, unlike a Pollock, when the film ends, and you've said "WHAT??!" out loud, and then invariably (if you were invested) go to google it, you'll find the director DID have an interpretation beyond just splashing color (Easter egg in title?) onto a medium, and, armed with that information from the director, the movie is retroactively more enjoyable.

So then it becomes a question of whether Carruth is being TOO "cute"/"brilliant"/"anti-establishment" by not bothering to give more actual clues in the film itself, or not having at least some kind of five-minute stretch at the end, that still could have been subtle, but would have helped you possibly realize more than 30% of the point before the credits rolled.

I was watching with someone and we were out loud making our guesses at what the heck was going on. So I suppose that's "engagement." But I'm not sure that would have happened had I watched alone.

d
dupree905
Apr 14, 2019

Great film, especially in this era of spoon feeding. Loved Primer and was equally amazed here. Strong visual storytelling and filmmaking.

w
whatcomhillwalker
Mar 27, 2019

Second time around for me, which happens all the time. This film is strange... I am not sure why I find it so intriguing, but I do. I can imagine checking it out again in a year or so and remembering seeing it again. The characters feel real, not Hollywood real but hanging out at your coffee shop real. The landscape and the reality portrayed is mundane and I could imagine it happening down the block as I sit and type this. I might check out Walden before I leave the library today.

p
PeterRLD
Feb 10, 2018

Confusing as hell.

After trying to watch it for 10 minutes, I gave up and went to Wikipedia for help. Then I returned to the movie and watched it all the way through. The movie was still confusing, even after reading Wikipedia's confident and precise explanation. Who are these people who seem to be supporting the "presence"? What do they get out of it? Where does the money go?

The movie is strangely affectless, even when there is action on the screen. The best I can say is that it is kind of interesting and definitely not your average date flick.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Mar 09, 2017

After Shane Carruth's first film the mind bending " Primer ", I was looking forward to his second film with anticipation. To say I was disappointed is an understatement- this film is a complete mess with a convoluted plot that goes nowhere, and it's shot like a car commercial ( uninspired ). I'd rather watch " Primer again, hopefully, he does better on his third film.

g
ghostserver
Mar 09, 2017

Dreamy, mysterious, paranoid, surreal little sci-fi love story. Definitely not for everyone, as the sci-fi elements are subtle and more conceptual, not effects laden CGI eye-candy, a different kind of eye candy, especially with the beautiful photography. It is mind candy too as it grabs and intrigues your inner detective as you follow our intrepid heroes down the rabbit hole. A lot less cerebral dialogue than the director's first film "Primer" (a dark thinking person's time travelling movie). It's more of a visual journey, and the clues and hints are mostly seen not heard, patterns to follow. Hard to sum up but a joy to watch; it's about creativity, the search for truth, survival, connectedness, longing, and love, to name a few topics covered. I was enraptured and mesmerized from start to finish

b
Bartolomew
Jan 22, 2015

I think that the people that wished for their 96 minutes back wouldn't know what to do with that time, they'd probably just waste it on a Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel film.
This movie is a chef d'oeuvre, a gem in every sense, plot, camera work, sound and the two leads are just phenomenal !
This film IS really weird, painful,pointless ( life has a point? ) and I can't wait to spend another 96 minutes of my life on it.
If you like beautiful women, the lead actress is the beautifullest!

a
ashleysears
Oct 17, 2014

This movie was weird, and a tad bit hard at follow at first.
All of this to just get blue flowers, what was with the boys at the start? Is the man and woman together at the start before she loses her mind? If they both have the same marks on their ankles then why isn't he as nuts as her? LSD is the drug right, that the flower guy gave her? And tape worms? Of course I watched it all, willing her to come out of her haze and hating the pig farmer more and more. It's not mainstream movie - so if you are looking for something more, something to think about, then this is a good movie

c
cinecita
Aug 25, 2014

the smartest film of 2013.

if you're looking for a run of the mill, traditional drama, if you are sleepy, or don't like experimental use of film techniques, are easily bored or have your finger on the fast forward button when the movie starts, or want a sit-back-and-turn-off-your-brain kind of movie.....AVOID UPSTREAM COLOR AT ALL COSTS.

BUT... if you're like me, and you've seen more movies than 98% of the people out there, and you want a movie that will challenge you, that makes you make the connections, does innovative things with editing and use of sound, and it prone to lyrical, abstract excursions, then this is the film for you.

(spoiler alert)
UC is told, more or less, from the rather disjointed, elliptical, stream of consciousness point of view of a drug addict, but not quite. it's almost viral--- following one person then another, with a fictional drug being the follow thru line, and it's effects being the film's main metaphor. the film starts with the production of the drug, then a few of it's uses, and then it's effects and finally it's aftermath.

frankly, i'm not shocked that most people hated UC.UC demands to be taken on it's own terms to be understood. most people want a film to be linear. they can handle a little disjointedness, but not too much. they want everything to be clear, when UC is purposefully opaque. they want it all served up for them, and UC makes you work. it's a film for jaded film lovers who have seen it all before....but contrary to many of the reviewers, it is not just coherent, it's brilliantly constructed. it works on so many levels most people won't even catch it. and if that's the sort of film you like, then go for it. i think you'll love it as much as i do.

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jimg2000
Apr 28, 2014

See details in wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstream_Color

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