Excerpt: When Shane Carruth's Primer emerged at Sundance nearly a decade ago, it seemed perversely inscrutable, a left-brain puzzle film made by and for the mathematically inclined. An intimidating degree of obfuscation, of course, was very much part of the point, our confusion before both the mechanics and implications of time travel designed to reflect the characters' own, but the film's conceptual rigor nevertheless invited the scrutiny of close reading.
Conclusion: Upstream Color is a niche film to be sure. As I described the plot to a mainstream-friendly pal I was certain would not watch it, the response was, "I hate this movie," despite him having never seen a frame. It's aimed squarely at those who appreciate an artful touch and who can accept an experimental presentation that forces you to think and contemplate what you watched, rather than being spoon-fed.
Excerpt: I can tell you, with conviction, that I loved Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color . Explaining why is another story. Upstream Color marks Carruth’s first directorial effort since his critically acclaimed 2004 drama Primer -- an intelligently constructed sci-fi experiment that, ostensibly, was about the dangers of time travel.
Summary: A kitchen-sink time travel flick made pretty much singlehandedly and for just thousands of dollars, Shane Carruth's 2004 debut Primer is a fascinating footnote in film history. Having disappeared into the ether for the past decade, this talented writer/director/actor/etc returns with a metaphysical sci-fi love story so formally experimental it could be a student film, except for the technical mastery on display.