The following is an excerpt taken from the audio files of an interview I had with my brain while watching The LAMB’s movie of the month “Upstream Color“.
Cast: Shane Carruth, Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosely
Writer and Director: Shane Carruth
Brain: What the hell are you doing talking to me again? Oh no. Please, say it isn’t so. We are not watching one of your “Ohh look at me, I’m all stylistically filmed so that means I’m super important” bull shit.
Me: Yup, we are looking at The Lamb’s movie of the month “Upstream Color“
Brain: Were there no other choices?
Me: There were a few others but this won out of all of them.
Brain: What were the other choices?
Me: That really doesn’t matter. Let’s get going with the rev..
Brain: Fuck you, I’ll get going when I want to. What were the other flicks?
Me: I rather not. It will only just upset you.
Brain: I’m already pretty fucking pissed that I’m watching some artsy fartsy shit, when I rather be thinking about a 3 way with Scarlet Johannson and Nikki Nova. So Just tell me.
Me: So “Upstream Color” is about this drug that when taken can help someone see what another person is feeling or doing if that person takes the same drug. In the beginning we see two kids who..
Brain: Tell me what the other choices were or so god help me I will give you dreams for a week about the movie “Irreversible” like I did after you watched that. Do you remember not being able to sleep for 4 days after seeing that flick.
Me: I slept.
Brain: In 4 days, you slept for approximately 12 hours tops. That’s not really healthy. I can make it happen again.
Me: Alright fine, but if I tell you. You have to help me with this review. Deal.
Brain: Fine. It’s a deal.
Me: “Flash Gordon” and “Mad Max”.
Brain: FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUCk!!!!! Why weren’t any of those chosen? Those were way better flicks then this.
Me: “Upstream Color” has gotten a lot of good feedback, and it got a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes with both critics and audience members.
Brain: But it doesn’t make any sense. The only storyline I understood was the one about the girl who was drugged into giving away all her money by some thief. She meets a guy who also lost his money. The two begin a relationship, and then somehow confuse the other person’s past as their own. Oh and there is also a pig farmer who records sounds and makes music with them.
Brain: But why should I care about any of them. I never found the main couple to have any real motivation when watching this.
Me: They are trying to find out what happened to them.
Brain: Really, because I never once saw them address the issue that they were both drugged and lost their money to each other.
Me: I think he tells her that he lost his job for stealing funds from his company. This must be because he too was drugged and coned out of his money by the same thief.
Brain: Yeah, but we never see what actually happened to him when he was drugged. We only see what happened to her. I really thought when watching this, that the man would somehow be connected to the same thief and get her drugged again.
Me: That would be a pretty dark and depressing ending.
Brain: Yeah,but it would have been a more exciting movie.
Me: You didn’t find the visuals of this to be any good?
Brain: The filmmakers of this went to a Terrence Malick class before filming began. This really wanted to be like “The Tree of Life“. Unfourtantly it just didn’t have the same visual beauty that movie had.
Me: Wait a minute. I thought you hated “The Tree of Life“.
Brain: Oh I do. But the use of music and cinematography was much better in that then “Upstream Color“. I’m all for avant guard style music and sound, but here it did nothing for me.
Me: It won an award for best sound design.
Brain: That makes sense because I’m sure they had to make all those sounds up, but music in movies should help to create some sort of emotional response, and this did not do that at all.
Me: At least the actors were good.
Brain: Yes, they hit their marks and said their lines. Whoopee fucking do. Like I stated earlier, their just wasn’t any good character developments to get me interested in their story. Yeah it must sucked to have been drugged and have your money stolen. So why does half the movie show them walk around and spew quotes from the book “Walden“.
Brain: I shouldn’t have to. This movie should have explained the importance of that book to it’s central story which it did not.
Me: Oh so you want your movies explained to you. You want the whole same tired spoon fed method that Hollywood puts into all their features.
Brain: OK you fucking smart ass. What does a book about a guy who chooses to live off the land have to do with this movie?
Me: Well maybe the guy from “Walden” is like the pig farmer, and the girl is reading his story..No. Ummm maybe the girl and guy are connected to “Walden” because they are in some way doing the same things he did..No. Wait maybe…
Brain: Shut up, if I couldn’t think of a reason. I know good god damn well you wouldn’t think up of one either.
Me: So is this one you would recommend?
Brain: Look. I know that movies are suppose to be subjective and if someone finds something substantial and amazing about this flick. Good for them. But for me, it was a real fucking bore.
Me: Yeah, I’m kind of in agreement there with you. If you were a fan of Shane Carruth’s last movie “Primer” you may like this. I for one disliked that movie a lot, and it had a lot to do with it’s story structure like this one.
Brain: Holy Shit. We agree on something.
Me: I know it surprises me too. I really thought I would become more invested in these characters, but there is really little for me to enjoy.
Brain: Well shit, man. Thanks. Just for that I promise not to give you any headaches or stress for at least a few hours. After that I got a whole new batch of anxieties for you to enjoy.
Me: Well talk to you later then.
End of Transcript