Young Critics: Upstream Colour

uc1If Robert Rodriguez is the one-man film crew of action movies, then Shane Carruth is proving himself to be Rodriguez’s science fiction counterpart. Having written, directed, and starred in his two films to date, Carruth is possibly the smartest guy in film.

His debut was PRIMER back in 2004. A puzzle of a film that presented time-travel in the most realistic and competent way; it was so logical it made our typically spoon fed minds spin and whirl to try and piece together what we saw. Now, with UPSTREAM COLOUR, Carruth tackles the more philosophical subjects of free will and connectivity.

After a parasite is implanted in a woman, she is hypnotised into handing over all her possessions. Later, she begins a relationship with a man who seems to have undergone a similar experience, and together we follow as they try and deal with what happened to them.

This film is not an easy ride. Its beached visuals are symbolism heavy, and the importance of sound means even the score cannot go unanalysed. To really appreciate this film you have to be truly engaged throughout. If you go hoping for something you can switch off in, go and see MACHETE KILLS, but if you’re willing, UPSTREAM COLOUR is worth the effort.

Profound questions are so rarely discussed in film without being condescending. UPSTREAM COLOUR manages to treat its audience with respect, allowing you to follow and digest the film as intended without needing it to hold your hand.

– Chloe Casper