Sinking Into the World of ‘Upstream Color’ With Director Shane Carruth – Movies – BlackBook

I love narrative and how it exists and why it exists and how it’s meant to be used. You can come up with a paragraph full of some truth, something that’s universal, some exploration, and it can be really informative, but it’s likely to not be that interesting. But you can spin a story, you can tell a narrative, and you can infuse it with this stuff, and if you’ve done your job right, you haven’t just captured somebody’s attention long enough to take them on this journey, you’ve also figured out something about the exploration through the act of the story.

Says the guy who made one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen this year.

Sinking Into the World of ‘Upstream Color’ With Director Shane Carruth – Movies – BlackBook

Cinema du WTF – UPSTREAM COLOR (Shane Carruth 2013) – Bright Lights After Dark.

Even at its most obscure, Upstream Color keeps the viewer involved thanks to the aforesaid music score and the flow of its nature-derived imagery – sunlight, water, animals, insects, and birds (see still at top of page) and the archetypal blue flower motif. The consistent beauty of the imagery gives the movie the feel of poetry:

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

(“The Sick Rose” by William Blake.)

I can’t seem to stop reading about this movie since I watched it a few weeks ago. That blue flower connection is a good find.

Upstream Color

Upstream Color. The speculative hook is a strange cycle of events driven by some sort of parasite, I guess. A microbe that seems to enhance empathy or connection in all of its hosts. And you can interpret the rest in about seven million ways. I’m thinking: identity and self-construction. The first half-hour or so, with the thief, is just perfectly tense. Interesting that the personal resolution at the end of the story is misplaced justice. We don’t always know better. Oh, and there’s one scene, when the heroine is waking up, where the image and sound are so well-executed you kinda want to yawn and stretch, too. I didn’t like this one as much as Primer, but I will continue to support and hold out hope for more good, weird movies. Shane Carruth knows his stuff.

It’s basically recursion. You start with a problem that spits out an answer. You feed the answer back into the problem and get another answer, which you put right back into the problem.

Shane Carruth talking about nonlinear dynamics and maybe the creative process? And though he said this 9 years ago, this is also relevant to Upstream Color.