A Topiary trailer

Writer/director Shane Carruth has only directed two films in the past sixteen years: his breakout time travel movie Primer in 2004, and the cerebral drama Upstream Color in 2013. He’s previously teased other projects that never came to pass, and now he’s shared a pitch trailer for one of those potential features, titled A Topiary. But Carruth warns that this could get wiped from the internet soon since he utilizes unlicensed footage from other movies, so watch it quickly before it disappears. Read More »

the wanting mare trailer

Anytime Shane Carruth lends his name and talents to a project, it’s worth paying attention to. The Primer and Upstream Color director serves as executive producer on The Wanting Mare, a film written and directed by Nicholas Ashe Bateman. Shot almost entirely in a storage unit in New Jersey, the film employs digital backgrounds to create a fantasy world that looks completely real. The tantalizing The Wanting Mare trailer below forgoes a traditional plot-explanation set-up and instead draws you in with mystery.

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shane carruth retiring

Shane Carruth isn’t what you’d call a prolific filmmaker, but the two films he’s delivered – Primer and Upstream Color – are held in high regard. Fans have been hoping for a new Carruth-directed film for almost seven years now, and the good news is that their wish might soon be granted. The bad news is that Carruth might be retiring once this next film is made.

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Contest: Win ‘The Dead Center’ On Blu-ray

the dead center on blu-ray

Shane Carruth, director of the mind-bending indie sci-fi films Primer and Upstream Color, stars in The Dead Center, a supernatural thriller loaded with an ominous atmosphere. The Dead Center arrives on Blu-ray this week, and we’re giving away a free copy to one random, lucky /Film reader, because we’re just that generous. Learn how to win The Dead Center on Blu-ray below.

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the dead center clip

The Dead Center is a horror film starring none other than Shane Carruth, of Primer and Upstream Color acclaim. Carruth plays a doctor in a psychiatric ward treating a mysterious patient who woke up in a body bag in a morgue. Just what is going on here? Whatever it is…it’s creepy. We have an exclusive The Dead Center clip below, full of foreboding atmosphere and a story about resurrection.

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modern ocean cast

It took director Shane Carruth nine years to make a follow-up to 2004’s time travel instant-classic Primer. Thankfully, 2013’s Upstream Color was a remarkable sophomore effort, a science fiction tinged drama that was as emotionally moving as his debut feature was mind-bending. Even more thankfully, we won’t have to wait nearly a decade for this third movie. His new movie is on the way and its already assembled a jaw-dropping ensemble.

We already knew that The Modern Ocean would be Carruth’s first step into big-budget filmmaking, but no one saw this cast coming. The man who once worked miracles with a couple thousand bucks is now commanding a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel RadcliffeChloe Grace Moretz, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield and Jeff Goldblum. More details on the Modern Ocean cast can be found after the jump.

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The Modern Ocean

Shane Carruth has made two movies, Primer and Upstream Color, with a long quiet period between them. Both those films were totally independent, low-budget affairs; both films achieved far more than the humble bottom line of either movie would lead anyone to assume. Now, for his third movie, Carruth is pulling in some money — if not “big-budget” by studio standards we’re definitely talking about far more money than he’s used before — and if things work out that will allow his script The Modern Ocean to be realized on screen just as he wants it. Read More »

‘The Act of Killing’ Tops Sight & Sound 2013 Poll

act-of-killing-trailer-header

End of year lists can be great for highlighting stuff you may have missed, and the annual poll from UK film magazine Sight & Sound, one of the first 2013 year-end lists out of the gate, has a number of films included that are worth tracking down. The magazine polls over 100 “international critics, curators and academics,” taking a top-five list from each. The magazine’s list of top films (with some tied for a couple berths) is generated from those votes.

Documentary The Act of Killing, which follows as men responsible for genocidal killings in Indonesia confront and recreate their crimes as film scenes, took first place by a margin of five votes. Gravity and Blue is the Warmest Colour are the second and third place choices.

The full list is below, complete with trailers for each film, so you can be introduced to whatever films on the list are unfamiliar. Read More »

upstreamcolor_jeffelevator_3000x1277.jpg

Primer and Upstream Color writer/director/star Shane Carruth is an exceedingly generous interview subject. You might expect the creator of two very thoughtful pieces of genre film to be aloof or overly cerebral. But in conversation he has a tendency to react with exclamations like “wow” and “that’s so great” followed by thoughtful and digressive answers.

Maybe it’s just that I spoke to Carruth partway through Sundance, after Upstream Color had been shown only a couple of times, and he was still processing audience reactions. The film is not a typical narrative, and while it is also not outrageously obscure or difficult to puzzle out, I can imagine that Carruth might have been concerned about how audiences would respond to the picture. The chance to positively converse with people about something you’ve crafted in a bubble must be a source of great relief, even oh exultation. Every “wow!” seemed to be like a moment where Carruth realized that his experimental narrative worked, rather than one where he was impressed by the question.

Be warned that the conversation that follows is full of spoilers for Upstream Color. I sought, originally, to talk about the film in a way that wouldn’t give things away, but that intention dissipated with Carruth’s very first answer. There’s no way to talk about this film without really getting into the details of it. Fortunately, even when talking about the details of the plot, there’s a lot of room for interpretation with respect to meaning — Upstream Color is a film that will provoke many different readings. Read More »

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Upstream-Color-1

What a beautiful thing, Upstream Color. Shane Carruth‘s second film is a melange of surprises and delights. For an audience familiar with Primer, Carruth’s time-layering ouroboros of a debut, one element may be more surprising than all others: simplicity. Though the telling of this new film is by no means conventional, the core is an elegant idea, yet one rich enough to foster myriad interpretations.

Crafted with an awe-inspiring confidence, Upstream Color establishes a strange and frightening sci-fi framework, then works within that frame to probe the nature of human relationships, and our proximity to and power over the forces that define us. The wild elements of the plot allow Carruth to examine love and destiny with unexpected sensitivity. Upstream Color belongs in the company of 2001 and Solaris; it stands with the very best that speculative fiction has to offer.

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