Friday, 6 September 2013

'Upstream Color': review

In order to satisfy a verbal contract I've made with myself, I try to write something amounting to a "review" of every film I see at the cinema. For that reason I feel obliged to write a little bit about the universally acclaimed 'Upstream Color' - written and directed by its star Shane Carruth, who also provides the music. For what it's worth, it was a film I was really looking forward to. It's the story of [anybody's guess really, Google one of the many detailed descriptions if you're curious]. You probably gather by now that the film did nothing for me. In fact I'm willing to admit I didn't follow it very well at all, either on a plot level or as a metaphor, so oblique was it - hence my reluctance to spend much time talking about it. Apologies if you came here genuinely seeking some sort of proper analysis.

Friends of mine who did enjoy it have since directed me to pages devoted entirely to explanation of its themes and basic story, but I gain nothing from that, personally. For me, the film needs to speak for itself and needs to make me feel something. Or maybe it doesn't? Who's to say you can't make films catering to a very specific niche of people, and with little regard for or interest in a bulk of the audience? Perhaps there's a place for 'Upstream Color' and plenty of hardcore Thoreau fans out there to lap it up. Certainly lots of people I trust seem to think it's one of the best of the year. It's just not for me, I guess.

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