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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. They search urgently for a place of safety within each other and struggle to assemble the fragments of their wrecked lives, unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world.
Did one of the best movies ever made just debut at Sundance? --TIME Magazine
Having the movie wash over me was one of the most transcendent experiences of my moviegoing life --AV Club
A dramatically obscure, technically brilliant experiment in speculative fiction from Shane Carruth --Hollywood Reporter
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Upstream Color, like Primer, is a film that leaves the viewer to figure out the reality-bending mechanisms at work. You get glimpses into a narrative that feels much bigger than what's on screen and at times, you may feel completely lost. Now, if that's not something you're in to, then you may not enjoy this movie. You will at least appreciate the absolutely stunning cinematography. Almost every frame is a work of art.
The packaging is tri-folding paper with two discs and each surface, including the discs themselves is adorned with beautiful imagery from the film.
The force driving this apparently dream-like, Lynchian narrative is as solid and well-realized as the one in Carruth's previous film Primer, but completely different. Yet I might not have figured it out had I not read some articles describing the book "Qbsbtjuf Sfy" (change the letters backward one place alphabetically (b becomes a, for example) if you don't mind a spoiler).
If you like challenging, masterfully directed science fiction with an emphasis on storytelling over MichaelBaySplodiness, check out this movie.
Thematically, this is a meditation on a whole raft of important issues including the nature of identity, our relationship to the natural world, and (my take) the tension between free will and communal behavior. Unlike its predecessors in the mindbending sf genre, it will invite reams of discussion as to its ultimate meaning (in the philosophical sense). It is, very simply, a work of art.
Any fan of the movies I've mentioned will like this unless they have a real aversion to the arthouse style -- e.g., they hated The Tree of Life. And anyone who liked or loved The Tree of Life will like this, even if they find themselves indifferent to solving all of its mysteries. If, like me, you adore mindbending sf movies and love the arthouse style, you may well find this to be one of the ten best movies ever made. Easily. I expect to watch it four more times within days of its arrival.
Most recent customer reviews
If you want to watch some empty, post-modern drivel with terrible acting, this is the movie for you.