Director Shane Carruth / 2013 / USA

"Original, heady, visually gorgeous, aurally luscious … a brilliant, bewildering sci-fi exploration of humanity's mysterious biological connections." -

Shane Carruth created great expectations with his debut, Primer (MIFF 2005), a no-budget, brain-bending time travel thriller that won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and developed a cult following. With Upstream Color, his second outing as writer, director, producer, cinematographer, actor and composer, he returns to the realm of abstract science fiction but the similarities end there.

Engrossing and confounding in equal measure, this hallucinatory cinematic experience follows a man and woman, both escaping a mysterious trauma, who find themselves entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. But the details of this narrative dissolve into the film's sensory-overload approach to themes of identity, memory, love and the symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature, leaving meaning up to each individual viewer. A cinematic law unto itself, this boundary-pushing work will perhaps generate more debate than any other film this festival.

"To watch the haunting, disturbing Upstream Color is to feel like you're inside not one of your own dreams but someone else's, a dream that's both compelling and unnerving in ways you can't put your finger on." - Los Angeles Times

D/S Shane Carruth P Shane Carruth, Casey Gooden, Ben LeClair Dist Palace Films TD DCP/2013

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