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Upstream Color

Upstream Color (2013)
Upstream Color poster Rating: 6.8/10 (20,468 votes)
Director: Shane Carruth
Writer: Shane Carruth
Stars: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins
Runtime: 96 min
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Released: 30 Aug 2013
Plot: 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.

Primer, is not an easy film to talk about. At the center of its elusive narrative are two victims of an experimental drug that makes people entirely suggestible to the administrators of the dose, beginning with a woman (Amy Seimetz) who has her entire savings and life decimated by the man who kidnaps her and gives her the dose, in the form of a maggot. That might sound gross, but the film is nothing if not peerlessly beautiful in its compositions and lighting, and edited into a kind of visual concerto of actions, dialogue, and quotations from Thoreau’s “Walden.” When she meets the other victim, a man played by the writer-director, they begin a hesitant romance that is initially heartening and electric in its openness and intimacy, but is quickly complicated by the aftermath of the dosing, which messes with their sense of memory and identity. There are allusions to a reflexive concept here, about doing the work of others and following their impulses rather than your own as an artist, and the film is strangely compelling in its view of humankind’s inextricable ties to nature (hence the Walden influence). Even if you ignored all of that, however, Upstream Color would remain an exhilarating experience in its unique conception of time in editing, and the bewitching attraction that binds these two together, even when they have every reason to leave. – Chris Cabin

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