6.8/10
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141 user 260 critic

Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 30 August 2013 (UK)
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A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

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4 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Thiago Martins ...
Thief
Kathy Carruth ...
Orchid Mother
Meredith Burke ...
Orchid Daughter
Andreon Watson ...
Peter
Ashton Miramontes ...
Lucas
Myles McGee ...
Monty
...
...
Wife
...
OBGYN
...
MRI Tech
...
Woman in Club
...
HR Manager
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Storyline

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 SnoopyStyle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 August 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Color a contracorriente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,649 (USA) (5 April 2013)

Gross:

$415,067 (USA) (17 May 2013)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kris's room number, 2063, is a prime number. See more »

Goofs

When Kris saw the worms crawling under her skin, she stabbed her leg with knife so hard but when the camera showed her leg, the knife was only about 1-2cm in her leg. See more »

Quotes

Thief: I have to apologize. I was born with a disfigurement where my head is made of the same material as the sun.
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User Reviews

 
True Identity Theft
19 April 2013 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. This is no typical movie, so these will not be typical comments. In 2004, Shane Carruth became something of a cult hero with the Sundance Festival crowd when his debut film PRIMER won a Grand Jury Award. Nine years later, we get his follow-up ... the ultimate artsy, indie film for those who thrive on analysis and prefer to avoid a story ending wrapped up with a neat bow.

These comments will not give you much, but I can tell you the screening had many viewers who left frustrated and confused. The fragmented narrative can be a bit disorienting and it avoids the usual staple of a resolution at the end. The audience knows more than the characters, yet the audience is baffled while the characters just continue on.

The first segment of the film is when it's at its most traditional. We see Thief (Thiago Martins) perform some type of worm/parasite procedure that slowly brainwashes Kris (Amy Seimetz) or leads to mind control or loss of personality ... just depends how you prefer to describe it. We then see The Sampler (Andrew Sensenig) help her overcome thanks to a blood transfusion on his pig farm. Yes, really. Finally, Kris bonds with Jeff (Shane Carruth) as they seek to reassemble their lives and re-discover themselves. Watching them bicker over who belongs to what memory is frightening and fascinating. It makes you question the definition of personal identity, and what if we lost that (or it was stolen).

Nature plays a huge role here, along with the connection to Thoreau's Walden. Many will use the term pretentious. Some will call it boring. Still others will be drawn in by the imagery and sound (or sometimes lack thereof). Shane Carruth does not fit Hollywood and neither do his films. He is a writer, producer, director, co-editor, cinematographer, and actor. He clearly has a love of the material and his choice of Amy Seimetz really makes the film work. She is outstanding (and also a filmmaker). The tired phrase "it's not for everyone" certainly applies here, but if you are a Terrence Malick fan or just enjoy being challenged by somewhat abstract themes, this one is worth a look.


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