There are few films this spring — or likely even this year — that spur as many discussions as Shane Carruth‘s “Upstream Color.” The director’s long-awaited sophomore film is a tale of romance, identity, pigs, orchids and more told in a beautifully orchestrated whirlwind of sound, fractured narrative, breathtaking visuals and careful editing, all coming to a conclusion in a wordless, evocative final 15-minute sequence. It’s one of the most unique moviegoing experiences so far this year. But what if those talents were put to use in a blockbuster movie?
Well, Jesse Thorn of the Bullseye podcast put the question to the director, and while Carruth fully admits it’s a scenario that’s never likely to happen, he does share how his philosophy might inform some of the biggest franchises out there. “The only James Bond movie I would ever want to see is the one where he loses a hand. And the only Superman movie I’d ever want to see is the one where Superman comes to understand that people have become too reliant on him and he can’t be their God anymore. And he basically, actively, doesn’t help them. And people end up dying in the learning process that they can’t rely on their God anymore,” he shared.
Obviously a 007 flick where he’s disabled or a Superman movie where he chooses not to be a hero are things that just won’t happen, but Carruth says it’s the only way the way those kinds of things are interesting to him, though again, it’s not gonna happen. “That’s the only way to get near these stories for me, and nobody would ever pay for that, so…I don’t think I’m the right guy for those stories,” he says.
Still, pretty interesting stuff to ponder, but frankly, we’d rather see Carruth tell his own stories than jump into a franchise. “Upstream Color” is in limited release now — click here to see when and where it’s playing near you. And listen to the podcast below.
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