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 & 35 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

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

[Kris is rummaging through an enormous shoulder-bag and not meeting Jeff's eyes]
Kris: Why do you take the train?
Jeff: Why do I take the train?
Kris: Yeah, it's just, everyone who takes the train is either homeless or they had their license revoked or, you know.
Jeff: Do you want to see my driver's license?
Kris: No.
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Connections

Referenced in Sardonicast: Waves, The Wizard of Oz (2020) See more »

User Reviews

 
"Each drink is better than the last, leaving you with the desire to have one more. Take a drink now."
25 May 2013 | by Al_The_StrangeSee all my reviews

I knew this film was going to be weird. Shane Carruth's debut film - Primer - was an oddity as it was, lacking in straightforward answers or explanations, but presenting a very intriguing and sturdy piece of hard science fiction. Be warned that Upstream Color is also something that lacks a straightforward explanation. In fact, Primer was something rather cold, with its strong basis in the scientific method; UC is far warmer and artistic, but is also more abstract.

The film may come off as slow and dull to certain viewers, especially if you're expecting a strong narrative structure or plot. I'm usually adverse to movies that have no real plot or conflict, but with this film, it's the experience that matters. Watching this film is a strangely mesmerizing, lucid, and smooth experience, given the exquisite imagery, nuanced performances, and quality music score. The film's first fifteen minutes are probably the most straightforward, most interesting, and most disturbing aspect of the whole thing, and it serves as an important fulcrum point. This much I understand: the film starts off with the freaky notion that there's a man injecting grubs into people, which makes them susceptible to mind control. From then on, the film tracks two such victims who inevitably come together and discover the secrets of their latent trauma.

What makes the film so weird, so cerebral, and potentially frustrating, is that things happen, and characters will say things that won't make total sense. And most scenes are intercut with such footage as a farmer tending to pigs, and flowers growing in the wilderness. The movie draws stark parallels between such images, to unearth some rich thematic territory. Could such scenes reflect on life and death? Is it all about nature? Is it about love? Is it the human condition overall? The film never really tell you outright, and it gets very surreal when scenes overlap. If you struggle to find logic behind this story, you might write it off as messy. If you take in the experience and open your mind to interpreting the film, it'll keep your brain going and haunt you indefinitely. It's an experience comparable to such films as Mulholland Drive.

This film is very stylish, with some beautiful photography and ingenious editing. All actors put on decent performances, and they show a good blend of nuance and emotion. Writing is pretty weird, given the amount of strange and unusual dialogue. This production uses excellent sets, props, and costumes. The music score is very exquisite.

While Primer was a film that appeals on an intellectual level, Upstream Color appeals best to the artistic side of the brain. If you're susceptible to strange, abstract films that require lots of brainpower to interpret and understand, then this one is a perfect puzzlebox for you. Casual audiences might want to approach this with caution.

5/5 (Experience: Very Good | Content: Very Good | Film: Perfect)


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Upstream Color 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

Gross USA:

$444,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$587,174
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

erbp See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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