Synopsis: A young woman is abducted and seemingly brainwashed via an organic material harvested from a specific orchid. She later meets a man and after the two fall for each other, they come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process. The two search urgently for a place of safety within each other and struggle to assemble the fragments of their wrecked lives as they are unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world, moving to nematodes, plant life, livestock, and back again.
Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to an abundance of hype. Carruth’s follow-up to his fantastic 2004 time travel film, Primer, Upstream Color screened as part of SXSW‘s opening night festivities at The Stateside Theatre and ran the gauntlet of audience reaction. As moviegoers left the screening I heard “brilliant,” “profound,” “confusing,” and “fucking atrocious” within seconds of each other – a divisive, peculiar film that feels equal parts Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), Mike Cahill (Another Earth), and Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko).