Monday, June 24, 2013

Upstream Color (2013)

I'm not even going to attempt to describe this one. Just check it out on Netflix Instant.

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While it is never quite able to match the power and paranoia of the opening third, Shane Carruth's Upsteam Color is a cinematic force to be reckoned with. Filmmaking doesn't get much more pure than this. There is hardly any dialogue and absolutely no exposition, yet if you watch closely you will understand. Everything comes from the images and the ways in which they are juxtaposed with each other. It's Soviet montage at it's most basic: Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis. A simple cut can bring together two disparate elements in a way that clunky dialogue never could. What might have been laughable in prose, becomes poetry in motion. Only cinema can do this. Shane Carruth should be commended for habitually refusing to take the easy way out and for putting the medium through it's paces. What he has achieved is a work that could literally not exist in any other medium. What could have simply been so-so or overwrought science-fiction, instead became high art.

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