In a perfect world, “Shane Carruth” would be a household name. Even if you’re a die-hard science fiction fan, I could forgive you for not knowing the name. After bursting onto the scene with his cerebral 2004 time travel film, Primer, Carruth has been flying well below most people’s radar ever since. And honestly, I can understand why Primer didn’t exactly shoot him to fame: it’s a dense, challenging mind-trip of a story involving a couple of regular guys who, while trying to build something else, accidentally create a time machine. It’s easily one of the best time travel films ever made, but it doesn’t suffer casual viewers; you either give Primer your full attention or you don’t even bother.
Ever since having my head imploded by Primer, I’ve been eager to see what Carruth would do next, and now we’ve gotten our first solid details about his next film, Upstream Color…and it is, unsurprisingly, nebulous and hard to pin down. The film was just announced to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and the news was accompanied by the first images from the film, as well as a synopsis, which appeared on Carruth’s website. Here’s the maddeningly vague synopsis:
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the lifecycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
Well, that certainly sounds…interesting? Honestly, I wouldn’t expect Carruth’s next film to fit into easily describable boxes…hell, I’d be disappointed if it did. Primer alone has guaranteed that Upstream Color will be on my must-see list. Even more so because the synopsis makes it sound like he’s sticking in the science fiction genre for his second film. I have no clue what to expect from Upstream Color…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can check out the first images from the film below (and in the header above), and we’ll have more on the film when it becomes available.