Upon rewatching Upstream Color


Just some thoughts that came up after rewatching it while writing:

(Here are my first impressions when I first saw it:


Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color was the story of the main female character. The guy is a secondary character. Although the story may display their relationship as the main focus, it’s the woman’s discovery for truth, not their shared experience. Them finding each other isn’t the main story. Although he’s present: he’s a vehicle, not a means to an end and he’s not the hero. She is.

“For Kris and Jeff, or Kris in particular, to find him to be the culprit and seek him out and do him in, to me that really subverts the story. That means [that] she’s breaking out of her narrative, and creating a new one — but even that one is false in some way. 

And to end the way that it does… the way this film ends is, it does convey that there is some positive, peaceful resolution to her story. And everything about the film — the music, the cinematography, Amy’s performance — all of it are conveying that. But the text of what we’re looking at is probably not so positive, or at least not going to stay positive.” – Shane Carruth

The relationship as an experience, a revelation of the female character’s psyche. The male character helps with that, but his experience isn’t at the centre, nor is his eventual release shared on screen. In essence, if we find someone, a shared experience, we have companions to deal with reality. But in truth, we will always be alone in that shared joy, in that shared sadness since we each bring different histories to the taste of that catharsis. Their mixing up of histories is a great indicator of human’s search for individual identity. Very often we fall into the “we are the same person” hole and that’s when we suffocate. We can only thrive within by being without….together. We survive because relationships help us discover our separate truths. The human condition is universal already, but we are blind to it as we all swim upstream on instinct. We lose our colours to the collective journey. Relationships are not our truths; instead they’re good, nurturing schema. —->It’s a relatable, intuitive survival theme. Thus when we stop swimming (the mental breakthrough), we find that there are many directions for each person. It happens to work better when we journey together (connect) while supporting those separate directions. I’d say more, but I can talk on and on and on about the films that I love.

This is just still one of the reasons Upstream Color is so good.

1. http://io9.com/director-shane-carruth-explains-the-ending-of-upstream-475087719


I’m covering, reviewing, and interviewing at the Toronto International Film Festival for Next Projection. You can read some of my pieces over there. Some interesting interviews and films so far:  http://nextprojection.com/author/jacqueline-valencia/


Also, this has come in SO HANDY!: http://www.hearnames.com/index.php

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