What is truly the biggest story for film fans in a week that has seen the first “Hobbit” reviews, building buzz on “Django Unchained” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” news on “Justice League,” “Star Trek,” “Man Of Steel,” “Man Of Steel,” then “Man Of Steel” again, 48FPS and the hailing of Anne Hathaway as the one sure thing of the year? Easy. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than the fifty-three seconds of film that were released to promote a film called “Upstream Color.”
“Oooooh,” I can imagine some of you saying. “Is this some secret something from someone like Chris Nolan or JJ Abrams or Guillermo Del Toro or the Wachowskis or the Coens or some other mainstay in the film nerd universe?” Nope.
It is one of many titles announced already for the Sundance Film Festival, and my first priority of the fest. I will skip a day of movies if it means I guarantee my seat at the first possible screening of the movie. Because while the guy who made it is not a household name, he is a name who should already be on the short list of talents to watch for anyone who saw “Primer,” the stark, fascinating time travel exercise that was Shane Carruth’s first and until now only film. Shane Carruth has been slowly but steadily putting together the pieces to make a new film to follow up that 2004 debut. For a first time filmmaker to take eight years between his debut and his follow up, that must have been a real test of Carruth’s faith in film. His is not an obvious, mainstream talent, and that’s exactly what I love about him.
Until earlier today, I did not realize Carruth had (A) been making a new film and (B) been accepted into Sundance. I am quite literally overjoyed to hear this. Carruth developed a wildly ambitious film called “A Topiary” that never got off the ground, but I’m glad he kept pushing and got this one done. Now that I’ve seen this, I refuse to see anything else or read anything until I see the film, because I love that I know nothing about what I’ll see in the theater.
HitFix will once again be covering the heck out of Sundance starting January 16th, so look for a review of “Upstream Color” as well as much more when that begins.