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Shane Carruth, the Former Dallasite Behind Primer, Has a New Film Buzzing at Sundance

Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Shane Carruth, left, and writer-director Rian Johnson at the Magnolia
Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Shane Carruth, left, and writer-director Rian Johnson at the Magnolia
Katie Scullin

About a decade ago, Shane Carruth released a mind-blowing little film called Primer. It's a low-budget, low-fi take on time travely-displacementy stuff that won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. It was shot around Dallas, and Carruth -- who went to high school outside Big D and then studied mathematics at Stephen F. Austin -- was the director, writer, shooter, editor and composer.

So, you're thinking, who the hell is this guy? Well, that's because Carruth has spent the last 10 years bucking the typical Hollywood system. As a recent L.A. Times piece points out:

"I think he's not interested in mediators, he's not interested in having people speak for him or in speaking through others," said Mark Urman, who was head of theatrical distribution at ThinkFilm when that company released "Primer" after Sundance in 2004, and is now president and chief executive of the distribution company Paladin. "I think that's his temperament, that's his nature. I don't think he wants to be dependent on apparatuses."

So here we are in 2013, and Sundance is, once again, buzzing with a Carruth apparatus. His film Upstream Color flashed an instant conversation on the interwebs thanks to the release of a vivid, puzzling trailer (below). His ideas are big: Color is described as such on IMDB--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."

Definitely a film to keep your eye on. Here's the trailer:


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