6.7/10
27,689
150 user 269 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.

Director:

Shane Carruth

Writer:

Shane Carruth
5 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Seimetz ... Kris
Shane Carruth ... Jeff
Andrew Sensenig ... The Sampler
Thiago Martins Thiago Martins ... Thief
Kathy Carruth Kathy Carruth ... Orchid Mother
Meredith Burke Meredith Burke ... Orchid Daughter
Andreon Watson Andreon Watson ... Peter
Ashton Miramontes Ashton Miramontes ... Lucas
Myles McGee Myles McGee ... Monty
Frank Mosley ... Husband
Carolyn King Carolyn King ... Wife
Kerry McCormick ... OBGYN
Marco Antonio Rodriguez ... MRI Tech
Brina Palencia ... Woman in Club
Lynn Blackburn ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Color a contracorriente See more »

Filming Locations:

Dallas, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,649, 7 April 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$444,098, 27 June 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

erbp See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Thief: The water before you is somehow special. When you drink it you feel revived and full of energy. It is better than anything you've ever tasted. Take a drink now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il ritorno del maestro (Return of the Master) (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An overwhelming artistic exercise in confusion worth experiencing
16 April 2013 | by mattstevensSee all my reviews

As you all know, with PRIMER, Shane Carruth announced himself to the world as a naturally gifted talent, one who could rival the likes of James Cameron. Of course, it never happened as he struggled to get his second film off the ground.

Nine years after PRIMER Shane Carruth's long awaited second film is as dense as expected, with an impossible to understand third act that still manages to intrigue due to its sheer technical mastery. With UPSTREAM COLOR Carruth proves he is not a one-shot wonder. He also proves he is the ultimate NYC and L.A. art-film director incapable of adapting to more mainstream story telling.

Much has been written about the plot so I will not get into the specifics here. What I will say is that I think Carruth purposely holds critical information from his films as a way to challenge viewers and force them to think. This is admirable. But in the end, a bit frustrating because with just a few answers both PRIMER and now UPSTREAM COLOR would be fit for the masses without compromising artistic integrity.

The film made sense to me for about an hour and then it started to slip away. Like with Primer, I just lost my footing and could not gain hold. Amazingly enough, I still enjoyed the experience and was never bored, In fact, at times I was held in genuine suspense.

The third act has been described as 30 minutes without dialog and that simply is not true. There are numerous sequences without dialog and about halfway through we get a major sequence of events told with visuals and music. Then we have some more conventional filmmaking (conventional is really not the right word) followed by what I think might be around 15 minutes of dialog free visuals. The ending makes no sense to me, but I will see the film again and hope to sort it out.

Carruth designed the sound and composed the music and let me tell you, he hit both out of the park. The man could work scoring films and make a great living. The same goes for his sound design.

I watched the film at IFC in New York City and they have a pretty good sound system. What they don't have is a great screen. It might be the proper widescreen aspect ratio, but the images appeared darker in sections and that harmed Carruth's amazing visuals, rumored to have been captured with a hacked $700 Pansonic DSLR (the GH2). The image is akin to a RED or Alexa and throughout Carruth plays with shallow depths of field. This results in some shots missing the sharply focused mark, but for the most part the visuals shine. This film proves you do not need Hollywood style lighting and equipment to make Hollywood level films.

The Blu-Ray will be out in May and I have already put it on order at Amazon. There is no question in my mind that by year's end I will have sat through UPSTREAM COLOR numerous times.

I look forward to Carruth's next film, but with the hope for a little more clarity in his narrative.


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