THOSE question marks encapsulate the value of Shane Carruth’s second indie film better than stars ever could.
“Upstream Color” offers sublime visual beauty and charming music as Kris (Amy Seimetz) and Jeff (Shane Carruth) seek awareness of self and each other.
Classifying the film into a specific creative genre is not a task to be lightly embarked on. For every apparently appropriate category, another will prove to be equally so moments later. The cinematography (by Carruth) is sublime. The editing is brilliant. Music and voice intertwine when neither is dominant of the moment. Speech claims the high ground when words are relevant. Which is not often.
The conventions of mainstream cinema have no place in what’s happening on the screen. The only missing element is a structured plot. Which is not to say there is no plot. Characters do things that may or may not be peripheral to Kris and Jeff confronting their personal identities.
The film spends time among a herd of adolescent pigs that are kinda cute, provided you set aside the reason for keeping them.
“Upstream Color” might be called abstract expressionism. Or something else. Challenging, perhaps?
At Palace Electric