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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Beautiful
I've given this film 5 stars partially in an attempt to remedy the fact that the only current review has given it a frankly ridiculous 1 star rating, and partly because it is one of the most interesting movies I watched this year. It does need to be said that this film will not appeal to everyone- it is a deeply strange and not always pleasant experience. It is also...
Published 7 months ago by Ellie =)

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upstream Color' descends into so much abstraction that you are left with just a flicker of life
Writer, director and actor Shane Carruth follows up his admirable debut `Primer' with his new film `Upstream Color'. Carruth plays Jeff, a reformed alcoholic, who falls in love with Kris (Amy Seimetz). But this is no ordinary love story, a couple pulled together by fate and their past histories.

`Upstream Color' is dominated by Kris's story, who is kidnapped by...
Published 11 months ago by dipesh parmar


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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Beautiful, 1 Jan 2014
This review is from: Upstream Colour [DVD] (DVD)
I've given this film 5 stars partially in an attempt to remedy the fact that the only current review has given it a frankly ridiculous 1 star rating, and partly because it is one of the most interesting movies I watched this year. It does need to be said that this film will not appeal to everyone- it is a deeply strange and not always pleasant experience. It is also exceptionally brave. Visually stunning and unapologetically ambiguous, Shane Carruth has done something truly original with the cinematic medium, and it deserves more than a 1 star amazon review.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars shortbus ++++, 25 May 2013
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I must say that I always find it a treat when the company who issues a dvd or bluray pays great attention to the packaging, the menus, doesn't annoy me with trailers from movies I don't want to see or worse that I can't skip etc. This release has all this. I saw the poster of this movie on Instagram and got intrigued. Checked out the trailer and was sold. Now after having watched this film I'm (still) not a 100% sure what it's about. But I can say that I really liked it and will watch it again. In contrast to the huge amount of people who watch movies solely for entertainment and do not care about the photography and artdirection of a movie there seem to be a group of people who enjoy watching beautiful things, even if they don't (fully) understand them. This goes for all kinds of art. These people seem to be sick of all the vulgarity that surrounds us ... everywhere and are dying for a dose of beauty. I am surprised but very happy that there is still room and yes money for thes ekind of movies. Take some time to watch something worth while.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty, but a beast, 27 Jun 2013
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S. Park - See all my reviews
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This is the second film from director/writer/actor/producer/editor/composer Shane Carruth, his first film being Primer which has become a cult classic amongst hardcore sci-fi fans. Both films treat the audience as adults, they give enough detail about the characters and story to allow the viewer to piece everything together without spelling it out. At no point do our characters explain everything to the viewers, they show, not tell.

The film starts with the hunt for worms in the soil of blue orchids, after finding the right worm this is used to 'drug' our main character Kris in a nightclub. The worm places Kris under a 'spell' where 'The Thief' makes her empty her bank accounts and hand over the cash. To keep her busy The Thief makes Kris carry out pointless tasks like writing out pages of Thoreau's "Walden" and making them into paper-chains. Once The Thief has his money Kris is abandoned by the side of a road. Kris finds 'The Sampler' who removes the worm from her body into that of a pigs. From here Kris starts to rebuild her life as she has no money and lost her job, this is where she meets Jeff. We learn these two being drawn together is no accident as they both try and make sense of their actions and break the orchid/worm/pig cycle.

The whole experience is like a lucid dream, created by the shallow depth of field and close-ups in most character shots. The atmosphere is created by layers of sound, the pulsing score is noticeable throughout the film, other sounds we generally class as background noise are brought to the foreground and used to create natural rhythms. Some of the key points in the film are actually highlighted by the lack of sound where you stop drifting and take note. The use of layers also exist in the story, the interaction with nature plays a large part, so does the text from Walden which pulls on the ideas of spirit and transcendentalism. This is also seen in the characters who become stripped of personality and emotion, and need each other to rebuild themselves above where they were before. Along with this are the concepts of privacy, intimacy, memory and individuality, what is it that makes us human and different to others. One of the most touching scenes is when our couple are sharing memories and not knowing whose memory is whose.

Each performance matches the subtle, delicate and rolling style of the film, the dialogue is sparse in places where we can concentrate solely on the imagery and score. This is very much a piece of art. I look forward to Carruth's future work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Masterpiece, 4 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. Adam J. R. Lightfoot "Snake-V2" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Upstream Colour [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A remarkable follow up to 'Primer' by Shane Carruth. A brave narrative with some extraordinary moments and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack all add up to one of the most memorable films of recent years.

Blockbuster material this is not though - this is science fiction for a more restrained and cerebral audience.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic film. Poor Blu-ray., 19 July 2013
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Mr. M. S. Mckinnon "MM" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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An amazing film, about which the less you know going in the better. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Unless, of course, you're one of those 'Man Of Steel' types, in which case there may not be enough explosions and fighting for you.

However - and it saddens me to say this, as the film's apparently self-distributed - the Blu-ray has some frequent picture/sound sync issues, and suffers from some really bad compression artifacting and banding.

That said, it's still a stunning film. The last shot had me quite choked up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Primer meets Malick., 19 April 2014
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Upstream Color is a beautiful piece of Cinema that will live long in the memory. Extraordinary Film and a must see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Distinctive and mesmerising., 18 April 2014
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This review is from: Upstream Colour [DVD] (DVD)
A friend described this to me as the most pretentious film ever, but good anyway. That fairly well sums it up. If you want to watch something self-consciously arty without an immediately obvious linear narrative, without any car chases, no loud explosions, no lengthy expositions etc this is just the film.

I enjoyed it at the cinema and then watching it again on DVD enjoyed it even more. It's the sort of film where you pick up on a lot more the second time through.

In the current packaging it's being presented as some sort of thriller. This is a bit misleading. I think the original billing of it being a story about people entangled within the life-cycle of a worm is probably more accurate.

It is very different from Primer. Much less about plot and more about themes. It is also very sensuous - a lot of attention is put into savouring the images and sounds, which is in part what the film is about. There's a lot of Walden in there too. Very much a contemplative film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Emersion, 28 Mar 2014
This review is from: Upstream Colour (Blu-ray)
It was wonderful to be taken back to a world of dreamy visuals moved along by coloured emotional reactions to the slow unravelling of an unusual story of life and attraction. A beautifully choreographed reminder of the fragility of the mind. Lovers overcoming greed and evil. Our senses became delightfully stirred and more aware. Please may we have more.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upstream Color' descends into so much abstraction that you are left with just a flicker of life, 7 Sep 2013
Writer, director and actor Shane Carruth follows up his admirable debut `Primer' with his new film `Upstream Color'. Carruth plays Jeff, a reformed alcoholic, who falls in love with Kris (Amy Seimetz). But this is no ordinary love story, a couple pulled together by fate and their past histories.

`Upstream Color' is dominated by Kris's story, who is kidnapped by a man who implants her with a worm. The worm renders Kris powerless, the man uses unorthodox psychological tests to manipulate her into giving up all her money and property. Then things get really strange, Kris approaches a man who helps to remove the worm inside her by connecting her to a pig. This mysterious man is central to this film, a man who documents the sounds around him, and has a pig farm. He has the ability to follow peoples lives like a shadow, as if he's an angel or a ghost. We don't know his purpose, or even if he really exists, but Kris wants to seek him out.

Kris tries to gain control of her life again after having her savings, her home and job taken from her. After many journeys on the same trains to and from their jobs, Jeff befriends the still affected and uncomfortable Kris. And thus begins their struggle to make sense of the world thats taken everything away from them, two broken souls combining their strengths and many weaknesses to find the `truth'.

`Upstream Color' is a very demanding film, tracing the patterns of life and the meaning of life itself. Purposely elusive and opaque, you'll find little resolution by the end of this disorientating film. The problem with this film is not that it doesn't make any sense, its that you don't care enough to want to join the dots. The weak link is Kris and Jeffs often frustrating and incomprehensible relationship, not helped by Carruths attempt to channel everything from poetry, history, science, nature, fate and much more through these lost souls.

`Upstream Color' is an ambitious audio-visual spectacle. Carruth is an impressive one-man film crew, who undertakes virtually every aspect of his films, which affords him complete control. The score and photography are superb, as is the editing, in fact the whole production is exquisitely conceived. Sometimes you will watch a film which baffles you, but you are still thrilled and comforted by its fantasy, however unimaginable it appears.

As beautiful as this film looks and sounds, you can't seek out what isn't there, and it doesn't enhance or enlighten your perception of the world. Ultimately, after an excellent 40 minutes, `Upstream Color' descends into so much abstraction that you are left with just a flicker of life.

Rating 7/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE CINEMA AS ART? BUY THIS AND NOW!, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Upstream Colour [DVD] (DVD)
Shane Carruth is the rarest of all film directors and writers. Despite being the critics darling after his beguling, time travelling debut in Primer, he will not be rushed into creating a third rate movie experience on the back of such acclaim, where the plot is explained within the first thirty seconds and one can guess the ending within the next five minutes (step forward, David Twohy!). Instead, Carruth has languished in creative utopia for nine years before presenting us with only his second film to date, Upstream Colour.
In it, the viewer is given beautifully composed glimpses, ten to fifteen second illuminating shots of the protagonists lives and Carruth leaves it up to the viewer to figure out what is going on. Nothing is explained by clumsy dialogue. Instead, inspired by the works of Henry David Thoreau (in particular his book 'Walden'), Carruth takes us on a vitalizing, visual exploration of the fragile (some would say lost) link between man and nature and the ever conflicting relationship between mankind and....themselves.
Like Carruth, I won't explain anything else about the film. That being said, if you, the viewer, love cinema as an art form in it's own right, if you enjoy the experimental and creative process of film, if you enjoy a narrative which challenges you by undermining your own preceptions of the world and then enlightens you with a refreshing, frustrating but ultimately rewarding take on the word 'baffling'....then buy this movie NOW. There is a quote from the book, Walden, which reads,
''If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer''.
Carruth is every bit the cinematic embodiment of this.
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Upstream Colour [Blu-ray]
Upstream Colour [Blu-ray] by Shane Carruth (Blu-ray - 2013)
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