Upstream Color 2013 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(163) IMDb 6.8/10
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A woman (Amy Seimetz) is abducted and hypnotized with an organic material harvested from a specific flower. When she falls for a man (Carruth) the two come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process.

Starring:
Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth
Runtime:
1 hour, 37 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Mystery
Director Shane Carruth
Starring Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth
Supporting actors Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins, Kathy Carruth, Meredith Burke, Andreon Watson, Ashton Miramontes, Myles McGee, Frank Mosley, Carolyn King, Kerry McCormick, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Brina Palencia, Lynn Blackburn, Trey Walpole, Dave Little, Julie Mayfield, Ben LeClair, Gerald Dewey
Studio erbp
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Hypnotic, fascinating, and frustrating, "Upstream Color" is a bold (if not entirely comprehensible) new experience from auteur Shane Carruth. Carruth made a huge splash in the indie film world with his first film "Primer," which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. "Primer" has become a bona fide cult classic and a love-it or hate-it proposition. It's an experimental sci-fi effort that wrestles with big ideas and proves that you don't need a huge budget to produce an ambitious mind-bender. It isn't perfect, by any means, but it is a film that challenges conventional movie fare. Much the same can be said about "Upstream Color," I suppose. There is something far more ethereal, however, more haunting. This is not particularly about story and narrative, it is about creating visual poetry. As such, this will surely be a polarizing film.

From my perspective, the first thirty minutes of this ninety minute movie are absolutely spellbinding. Not to give too much away, but this sequence plays out as crazy crime caper in which a man systematically destroys the life of a woman (Amy Siemetz). It's absolutely chilling and completely original. When the woman, now fragile and uncertain, later meets an equally wayward soul (Carruth), they try to piece together some semblance of normalcy. Here the film becomes decidedly more fragmented as they bond AND wrestle with their demons. They, among others, may have shared a similar experience. But what is reality and what is illusion? I may not be smart enough to make sense of all of Carruth's dreamlike vision, but I just relinquished myself to the experience. The movie images start to flow over you. Between pig farming, mind altering worms, an errant sound technician, and Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," you can't be entirely sure where you'll end up!
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By SteveT on March 23, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
"How are you enjoying South By Southwest?"
"It's great. I've seen some great films."
"What's the best thing you've seen?"
"Upstream Color."
"Oh. What's that about?"
"..."

I try to tell them that it can't really be explained. I could tell them that the discernible plot centers on a woman taken advantage of by a thief using a hypnotic plant as his weapon of choice, but that barely encapsulates a quarter of the half of the film I actually did understand. And I know most of us hate math.

What I can say with clarity and certainty is that if you enjoyed Primer, you should almost positively love this movie. If you haven't seen Primer, go watch it now and share your experience with the world. If you like the work of Gondry, Kaufman, Malick, Herzog, Cronenberg, Lynch, or Aronofsky then I'd be surprised if you didn't love this one.

At the end of my screening a man stood up and said, "Loved the film, but I'll be out in the lobby if anyone wants to try to explain it to me." It's really not that confusing. Don't be scared.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ethan100 on April 28, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I've changed my review, because I think this is a great film, not a good one, nor a weird one (even though its surface is undeniably strange).

I'd like you to know why I think that's so, in the hope that you'll take it seriously while you watch, then watch it again, then tell others to do so.

The way into this film is to think of what you're seeing in terms of metaphor. If you start with that--the idea that the objects, actors, and scenes all represent something beyond themselves--the film isn't hard to follow.

If you start with plot--as you have been taught to do in American film since Jaws--you're lost. The progression is jarring, sometimes even disjointed, there's very little dialogue, and no character is going to suddenly appear and spell out everything for you.

But that's why you're reading this, so I'll play that character...

In a wild, impossible premise, the identities of the two protagonists, a man and woman, are removed from their bodies and surgically transferred to pigs.

This doesn't happen, however, until a botanist subdues and brainwashes both. We see only the woman's case, but can infer the other has gone through the same process, because both show a familiarity not only with the same memories, but also with phrases from Thoreau's Walden, as well as a propensity to repeat the mindless, repetitive gestures of taking pieces of paper and manipulating them into shapes.

The woman makes a paper chain out of folded sheets on which she has transcribed pages of Walden without thinking about them, and the man works with the paper casings of thousands of straws.

So that's the surface of the premise.

Let's look at a few other surfaces.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 23, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Auteurs get a bad rap, and that isn't because they lack the ability to provide a cohesive product that can also make a buck. More likely, it's due to the fact that audiences avoid even investing time and effort into understanding not every film's message is going to be grasped and understood in the first fifteen (or so) minutes. As our attention spans have grown narrower and narrower, films that present a strong narrative or serve as an allegory for something bigger than the latest Ben Stiller comedy ("art" for the masses) or Martin Scorsese film (art for the critical masses) just aren't given the time of day. Now, granted, not every auteur-driven motion picture deserves as much commentary as the next, but a truly visionary film has the ability to not only change the way stories are told but also they might challenge us to think about ourselves and our roles in the greater world at large.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Unlike writer/director Shane Carruth's earlier film - PRIMER - which I found to be entirely far too esoteric or relatable for its own good, UPSTREAM COLOR grounds its story in real characters that an audience can care about, root for, and understand. The hard science he leaves in the background - an undercurrent that drives the plot forward but isn't so overpowering that it ever rises to the central focus.
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