Good news for fans of cult science fiction director Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Color)! He’s got financing and a big-name cast for his next picture, which is being produced by FilmNation (not on the indie-micro budget that financed his previous two pictures). The film stars Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Chloë Grace Moretz, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield, and Jeff Goldblum. And it’s going to need this star power, considering the plot revolves around…Shipping Routes for Huge Cargo Freighters. Fasten your seat belts folks, Carruth is the Captain now. Also, be prepared to wait a while, as Shane Carruth is a perfectionist used to doing everything himself.
I really do enjoy my invites over to Patrick and Jim’s podcasting house to talk about whatever is on their minds. This time around, it is all about obsessing on signs and wonders in cinema. Room 237 is the documentary about obsessive viewers obsessing over Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Upstream Color is the strange new film from Shane Carruth that is open to similar obsessive types that may want to climb down the rabbit hole. The fairly lengthy conversations over at The Director’s Club gets into what type of baggage each and every one of you can bring into a movie, and how a movie can unpack and repack that bagging into exciting new things.
George Carlin, god bless him, had a great comic bit on the perceived need to eliminate plastic bags to save the environment: Maybe our good intentions were all backwards. “Maybe the Earth,” he said, “sees plastic as just another one of it’s children. It could be that the only reason why the Earth allowed us to be spawned out of it was to make plastic for itself.” An astute, tragi-comic awareness of the bigger picture, and the larger cycles beyond our own collective hubris, if there ever was one. Shane Carruth’s esoteric sophomore feature, Upstream Color, might be aligning itself with with ideas of this sort. It certainly has a lot on its plate. With his debut film, Primer, the writer-director set the bar pretty high. Fully independently made, it was a scientific, morality play involving power, trust, and time travel. The new one offers far less clockwork puzzlebox assembly, far less science and technical boundaries, instead it goes all in for a more evokative and emotional experience. It very much reminds me of some of the great science fiction dramas, but also of the man and Gaia bio-rhythms of Terrence Malick, so much so, that the film would be right at home with the title of Malick’s latest, To The Wonder. Both films, for that matter work in couplets Nature of and Relationships. Both take the scenic route in dwelling upon how humanity as the product of the environment as well as how we collectively manipulated our environment to form modern societies that are far from natural. Yet the universe ticks onward, unsentimental about such things.
With Andrew’s new night school/work schedule things are a bit weird in the Cinecast scheduling department, but we still manage to get to a lot of new ground (and some old Australian ground) in this 3+ hour episode of The Cinecast. Two definitely “off the beaten path” films from a Hollywood standpoint to talk about. Yet both as different from each other as they could possibly be. We introduce a new segment to The Cinecast this week with our weekly “Game of Thrones” recap in which we realize that although this week’s episode covered more ground in 55 minutes than most television covers in half a season, it still left about a third of the character threads off the screen this week. A healthy Watch List harkens back to Australian (not really) blockbusters, Harmony Korine’s previous works and a couple of straight to DVD pictures that might (might) surprise you.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Still no idea what Shane Carruth’s new film is selling exactly (and frankly don’t really want to know), but damn if it doesn’t look shiny and perks up the intrigue hairs of my neck.
The writer-director of Primer releases a baffling teaser for his sophomore feature, Upstream Color, which is set to debut at Sundance in January. Yes we are as baffled as you are a) on what this is about, b) that Carruth made this film on the sly after A Topiary fell out or production.
How exciting is it to finally get a new Shane Carruth film in spring 2013 (or January if you are at Sundance)? Very exciting, it’s been 8 years since Primer (a science-fiction favourite in these parts), and while the writer/director’s screenplay for “A Topiary” never got made into a film, he whipped out this surprise to many earlier this week by way of the festival announcement and a very shiny bit of key art which confirms that Carruth will star in the film along with Amy Seimetz (A Horrible Way To Die).
“A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.”