The oppressively vapid life of Morgan is forever transformed when a mystical blue pyramid - that inexplicably produces doorknobs - appears in his apartment. What follows is a tale of greed ... See full summary »
Kris is attacked one night, and hypnotized, using a grub with hypnotic properties, administered by a thief. She follows the thief's instructions to give him everything, even taking out loans. After the worms are extracted, she wakes up to find her life ruined. She's lost her job, her finances are destroyed. Years later, she meets Jeff whom she may have a lot in common with. Written by
The film that Kris is editing at the beginning of the movie is A Topiary, the film that Shane Carruth had begun production on before deciding to film Upstream Color instead. See more »
(at around 32 mins) When Jeff and Kris are in the coffee shop and Kris is digging in her case, there is a menu standing on the table. When the shot shows both, there is no menu standing on the table. See more »
[On the train, during their second encounter]
I called you. I can't do this every day, this makes me late for work. There are four trains after me. So you're going to have to answer if I call.
[She ignores him]
I'm gonna call. Again.
[Cut to Jeff and Kris meeting in a café]
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Upstream Color (1:36, NR) 2 borderline, bargain basement, original
Shane Carruth is justly famed in SF fandom for Primer, an ultra, super, hyper low-budget film shot in a storage locker with a cast of about 2.5 where you spend most of the movie wondering exactly what the heck is going on here. But, once you do, you can't help but admire the cleverness of how you were set up for it.
So I had hopes for Upstream Color, Carruth's 2nd feature, which he spent 9 years building up to. As with Primer, Carruth wrote, directed, produced, acted in, edited, and scored the film, and also spent some time running the camera. Unfortunately, in this one you spend ALL of the movie wondering exactly what the heck is going on here.
It's not quite a silent film, but don't count on the dialog for help in figuring out what's up. For the first 15 minutes it's minimally audible mundanities; for the last half hour, it's totally non- existent; and in between it's sparse, sporadic, and largely soporific. For almost all of it there's subtle, atonal, pulsing background tones which I don't think really qualifies as music but which does serve to create a sense of unease and everything being somewhat off.
The plot, such as I could decipher it, is that an unfortunate young woman, Kris (Amy Seimetz), gets tasered into unconsciousness and has a parasitic worm literally forced down her throat. It seems to make her hypnotically suggestible, during which time her mainly unseen assaulter runs her thru a series of odd exercises, including looting her bank account. Gradually she seems to return to normal, but by then she's been missing from work for some time and her credit is completely shot, so she loses her job.
We next pick up on her some time later (the time lapse indicated by a noticeably shorter hair style) as this guy on a train, Jeff (Carruth) spots her and uses really crappy, creepy pick-up techniques on her which nonetheless eventually prove successful.
Meanwhile, intercut thru all of this (and there is a LOT of cutting in this movie seldom does a given shot last more than 5 seconds) is this sound engineer who spends a lot of his time in a fenced-in pigpen for no apparent reason and never utters a word.
These are the more or less intelligible parts of the movie. Most of it is less accessible.
This is a triumph of pretension over lucidity.
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