Upstream Color. All of it.
Fans of Shane Carruth’s 2004 time-travel mind-fuck Primer had to wait nearly a decade for his encore, Upstream Color, and damn if it wasn’t well worth every second. Nine years later, viewers are still deciphering Primer’s timelines, and you get the impression that the same will be true of Upstream Color. Oblique, character-driven science fiction, the surface story isn’t as complex and twisted as his previous film, but Carruth creates a movie that speaks its own unique language, one of sound and image and code.
Stunning to look at, interesting to watch, and engaging as its core, Upstream Color is a singular film, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s beautiful and affecting, but I’m still not sure I have any idea what the hell is going on. The more you try to dig into the layers looking for answers, the more you’re unsure you want to find them. Upstream Color may very well be a puzzle best viewed in pieces, as an oddity where the parts don’t necessarily fit, but still come together perfectly.