This review originally appeared as part of our coverage of the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh
The Long Con – ★★★★½
A fun fact about Shane Carruth. The writer, director, producer, star, cinematographer, editor and original score composer of Upstream Color gets a special thanks on the Looper credits. Apart from being unable to let anyone do anything else on his films, it’s clear to see he has an interest in the unconventional story. His first feature Primer (2004) simultaneously wowed and confused people. I think it was something to do with time travel but who knows?
Along comes Upstream Color which no doubt will have people scratching their heads and lifting their jaws off the floor in equal amounts. Now lets not worry too much this isn’t INLAND EMPIRE levels of odd, there is a coherent story to be found within the reels but it may take a few viewings to nail it down. Kris (Amy Seimetz) is an executive of some sort who is attacked and robbed by Thief (Thiago Martins) through the use of maggots and hypnosis. It takes a long time to figure out what the hell is going on and Carruth’s music almost hypnotises us into a dream like state along with Kris. When she finally comes around her whole life is in chaos and it isn’t until she meets Jeff (Shane Carruth) that she feels she’s getting a grip on her life.
I haven’t even mentioned the God like character of The Sampler (Andre Sensenig), the pigs (yes actual pigs) and how orchids nourished by this pig blood produce blue powder and special maggots which are the lynchpin of the movie. So it’s not your typical rom-com but certainly has plenty of fat to chew.
Released in Dublin’s IFI and Lighthouse Cinema on August 30th 2013