Sundance Film Review: Upstream Color

Posted January 23, 2013 in

Director Shane Carruth, Photo Credit: ERBP

Upstream Color
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Shane Carruth

It’s going to take me a few more viewings of this film to fully grasp what the hell is going on and what it all means, but let's try this: Larvae infect a plant, kids harvest and process the blue dust on the infected plant and they make a drink out of it which gives them mental, physical and spiritual connection. A film-industry woman (Amy Seimetz) is kidnapped and force-fed a larva. It allows the kidnapper to control her by making her copy Walden page for page—he makes her transfer all her money to him. He releases her and she wakes up in her car on the side of the road with no memory of the past few days (or weeks?) and drives home, only to find evidence of the kidnapping in her house. The woman meets a man (Shane Carruth) on the subway—he knows they have some sort of connection and they strike up a relationship. A pig farmer notices that two of his pigs are behaving strangely. With his hands to the pigs, he walks in a parallel world. He records the sounds of nature, composes a symphony and throws it in the river—the same fate that awaits the burlap sack of screaming piglets. The acting, cinematography and sound design are exceptional. Though there is an obvious God metaphor going on, much of the film remains open for deciphering. My brow was furrowed with confusion as I worked to make sense of the connections between everyone and everything but, in the end, it was worth it. It was exhilarating.



Time: 1.24, 2:30 PM Venue: Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

Time: 1.25, 6:00 PM Venue: Tower Theatre, SLC

Time: 1.26, 2:30 PM Venue: Library Center Theatre, Park City

Director Shane Carruth, Photo Credit: ERBP