Upstream Color

Rated 3.0

“Spooky action at a distance” was Albert Einstein's skeptical phrase for quantum entanglement, and as good a summary as any for the mysteries at play in Shane Carruth's Upstream Color. It's the sort of darkly gleaming sci-fi maze that leaves a critic feeling inadequate and sheepishly quoting the official synopsis: “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.” Such is Carruth's gift that the audience, too, struggles with that assembly. For some, it amounts to an hour-and-a-half of “Huh?” Others will be in hog heaven (actual pigs figure into the story, too). This is only Carruth's second film, after the microbudget 2004 indie puzzle Primer, and his resourcefulness continues apace: The new film, an assured and artfully ragged mosaic of glassy nonlinearity, stars fellow filmmaker Amy Seimetz as the woman and Carruth himself as the man; he also wrote, produced, shot, co-edited, scored and distributed it.