Movie Talk: Upstream Color

Movie Talk: Upstream Color

I’ve got something a little different going on today, folks. I watched this movie a couple weeks ago and I still can’t put my finger on how I feel about it. I really hope you’ve seen it so we can talk about it. Everyone that I’ve talked to in person has no clue what I’m talking about when I bring it up and when I describe what it’s about, they’re even less interested. It’s honestly the most unique take on a narrative that I’ve ever seen and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. It’s available on Netflix here in Canada so hopefully it’s available where you are as well. Give it a watch if you have time and let me know what you think.


The story (though it’s kind of hard to tell) follows Kris (Amy Seimetz – from The Sacrament) after she is abducted, brainwashed, made to sell all her valuables and her house, give it all to her abductors and then left to pick up the pieces. She meets Jeff (Shane Carruth) with whom she shares an inexplicable bond and together they try and build a relationship while dealing with their pasts. It seems silly to break it down so linearly, so cleanly, when the actual movie is nothing but. It’s not a movie that can be explained in a two sentence blurb. It’s something that has to be watched and felt.


Shane Carruth wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in and did the music for this movie. He wanted to make sure that everything came out exactly as he wanted so he did it himself. He seems to be of the, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” mentality. It paid off though. This movie has such a strong sense of style that it almost feels like the characters are trapped in a dream. Do you ever have the dreams where you want to do something, touch an apple on a table just say, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t force your arm to reach out for it? It feels like that. Like the movie wants so desperately to tell us what is going on but it just can’t so it’s leaving us clues. Little bread crumbs for us to follow. It’s assuming that we are smart enough to put the pieces together and sort it out for ourselves.


Sometimes I feel like great movies aren’t always the ones that you enjoy the most, they’re the ones that open your eyes to a new way of thinking about things; movies that you keep thinking about long after you’ve watched them. This certainly fits that bill. I feel like I need to give this one another watch to wrap my head around it. It’s definitely not for everyone and I don’t even think I would recommend it because it’s so abstract that most people would turn it off 20 minutes in and wonder what I was thinking but, in my opinion, it is worth the watch nonetheless.


Here’s the trailer so you know what you’re getting into:


19 thoughts on “Movie Talk: Upstream Color

  1. I’ve seen it…and really enjoyed it. But I had to pause it about 5 or 6 times (particularly near the start) so that I could read the plot summary on Wikipedia! I quite like getting lost in a film and don’t mind struggling a little, but this was a little confusing. I still haven’t checked out Primer but ought to!


  2. You’ve come to the right place to discuss this – this is a total “movie blogger” type of movie. However, I’m not someone who can discuss it with you as I’ve not seen it. My brain still hurts enough as it is after watching Primer – don’t think I’m ready to tackle this one too! Lol 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well – You’ll be the first one I talk to after I’ve seen it : ) : )


        Liked by 1 person

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