Upstream Color ★★★★

This is the third time I've seen Upstream Colour, and like 'Primer' before it, the movie improves exponentially with every viewing. This is true visual storytelling, the likes of which we rarely see in US cinema, though to be honest, despite paying close attention, I still don't understand every aspect of the story (!)

Not that it matters. I love movies that demand audience investment/active engagement, and when combined with an enticing symbiosis of gorgeous imagery and music, a hypnotic, dreamlike atmosphere, and an uncompromising artistic vision, you end up with something very special.

Shane Carruth's progression as a film-maker is obvious in Upstream Colour, and it's clear that he's influenced - either consciously or unconsciously - by Terrence Malick's visual style. This movie is filled with beautiful images (the final shot is a particular favourite) and it's a masterclass in how to tell a story with (mostly) images.

For me, 'Primer' and 'Upstream Colour' are to movies what 'Radiohead' are to music. Thom Yorke and co are often accused of producing music that is inaccessible, pretentious, and remote, and on first listen, it's generally hard to love a Radiohead album. However, over time, and after repeat listens, the real beauty and endearing complexity of the music shines through, and is, ultimately, intensely rewarding.

Ditto Carruth's movies. And long may it continue!

Jaimie liked this review