Upstream Color


When I first heard about this film, I heard all of the normal things that you have probably heard. This film was directed by the guy who directed Primer, the film was shot on a very low-budget, it was a science fiction film that had little science fiction to it and most of all it was difficult to understand. Oh, and Maria you will probably like it. That was a quote from my old roommate. He was very well versed in my affinity of watching difficult and strange films. He hated walking in the living room and seeing me there, because he knew that I was watching something he wouldn’t like. He went to go see this film when it was still in theaters. He told me it was strange but he couldn’t articulate just why it was so strange. It was frustrating at the time to have someone dismiss a film like this with a short sentence, but now I understand.

I don’t think I will tell you much of the plot. This is because of two reasons: knowing the full plot will ruin the film for you and the film is readily available so if you have read this far into my entry you should just go see it. But I will say that this is a very touching if very sparse love story. At first I didn’t quite get why these two people are together, but as the film went on you can tell that they have real affection for each other. Both of them had their lives ripped from them while under the influence of some drug and are just now getting their lives back together. And it seems that the only way it can happen is if they fight through the after effects together.

This film feels like a fever dream. Each image is beautifully shot and assembled in a hazy and kinetic way. This is something that definitely carries over from Primer, but he seems to be injected with Malick’s fascination with nature. It fits the film way to just sort of wash over you. You feel the film more than you watch the film (I know that is kind of hokey, but that is how I truly felt.) It took me more than one viewing to understand what I was watching, but I was happy to live in that universe for an extended period of time. In fact I think that I might watch it again. Excuse me.


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