Upstream Color

Synopsis: Kris is attacked one night, and hypnotized, using a grub with hypnotic properties, administered by a thief. She follows the thief's instructions to give him everything, even taking out loans. After the worms are extracted, she wakes up to find her life ruined. She's lost her job, her finances are destroyed. Years later, she meets Jeff whom she may have a lot in common with.
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Shane Carruth
Production: Independent Pictures/Metrodome Dist.
  5 wins & 34 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min


[Slow string music]

Close your eyes.

Close em.

[Light twinkling music]

See how many you gotta go through...

to get a good one?

[Soda can opening]

[Liquid pouring, fizzing]

Are you ready?


[Slow horn music]

[Slight rustling]

[Breathes heavily]

You can see what?


Not till Monday.

Whose is it?

I don't know a grip, a gaffer,

somebody's foot, a shadow of it.

I can't, I can't... okay well

if I can see it then they can see it too.

If they can't do it,

I mean how many times are

you going to go around this?

Hire a new team.

What's the problem?

It has been a while.

I'm sorry about that but

your work is just amazing.

When we saw your take on it

everyone instantly knew

we'd gone to the right place.

I just have a few questions for you.


[Record drops]:

Taking the yellow soil

[Record continues inaudibly]

This was my daily work

[continues inaudibly]

What is it?

Do you have more?

My friends, though.

[Street Sounds]

[Car horns honking]


[Background Conversations]

[Light thunder, rain falling heavily]

[Water whooshing]

[Choking, gasping]

[Crickets chirping, papers rustling]

No, no.

Stay awake.

You feel refreshed?

Is there any food?

All the food is poisoned.

Your throat is parched.

Make a pitcher of ice

water, bring a small glass.

You can leave the tile.

The rest of the floor will

support your weight now.

I have to apologize.

I was born with a disfigurement

where my head is made

of the same material as the sun.

It makes it impossible for

you to look directly at me.

It has always been this way.

[Water pours, ice clinks in glass]

The water before you is somehow special.

When you drink it you feel

revived and full of energy.

It is better than anything

you've ever tasted.

Take a drink now.

There are two approaching

armies, hunger and fatigue,

but a great wall keeps them at bay.

The wall extends to the sky and will stay

up until I say otherwise.

Each drink is better than the last,

leaving you with the

desire to have one more.

Take a drink now.


The next drink must be earned

and I'm going to tell you how.

Focus closely on my instructions.

I will ask you to repeat them from memory.

One one thousand, two one thousand,

three one thousand, four one thousand.

The water has lost its appeal.

It doesn't seem as enticing as before.

You have no craving for it.

Kris I just got a call.

It's your mother.

She says she's been taken by several men.

[Softly] Oh no.

She says they won't let

her go unless you pay them.


Oh no. Do you have any money?

No I don't.

I'm sorry.

Can you think of anything?

She sounds brave but I

think they're hurting her.


I have the house.

You own the house?

I own part of it.

I could, maybe I could...

What's the equity?


Is that enough?

In coins?


[Suspenseful music]

Five thousand.

Forty-five hundred.

Three thousand.

[Suspenseful piano music]

Weather is beautiful.

You feel like walking a bit

so you park a block away.

[Suspenseful piano music]

Did I hand you back your card?

There we are.

Current balance is at the bottom.

Please allow 3-4 business days

for availability of funds.

Is there anything else I can help you with?

No thank you, that's it.

Thank you for stopping in

Ms. Fischer, have a great...

[suspenseful piano music]

Yes ma'am, how may I help you?

Who can I speak to about a

home equity line of credit?

I can help you with that.

My name is Marie, please have a seat.

Oh I love your scarf.


and under, through and now you're white.

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Shane Carruth

Shane Carruth (born January 1, 1972) is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, composer, and actor. He is the writer, director, and co-star of the prize-winning science-fiction film Primer (2004), which was his debut feature. His second film, Upstream Color (2013), was an experimental science-fiction film which he wrote, directed, produced, edited, designed, and starred in. He also composed the scores for both films. In recognition of Carruth's idiosyncratic and, at times, bizarre filmmaking technique, director Steven Soderbergh told Entertainment Weekly, "I view Shane as the illegitimate offspring of David Lynch and James Cameron." more…

All Shane Carruth scripts | Shane Carruth Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Upstream Color" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Nov. 2020. <>.

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