And it's nothing if not defiantly independent. Written and directed by Shane Carruth, who also stars and provided the haunting cinematography and musical score, Upstream Color asserts its autonomy even further by bypassing the usual distribution channels. Carruth chose to release the film himself, paying for its brief run in theaters and arranging its near-simultaneous release online and on-demand (which is why it so quickly arrived on Netflix).
Not that you would expect the director of 2004's Primer to be less than 100% committed to the DIY ethic. That earlier, Rubik's Cube of a time-travel film was shot for pocket money on 16mm, with Carruth filling the same creative roles with practically no prior filmmaking experience. (An engineer through his 20s, he taught himself how to make movies on the job by sheer force of will.)