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SXSW.com

The Making of Shane Carruth's Upstream Color

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SXSW.com

Shane Carruth hasn’t made a movie since his debut, 2004’s critically acclaimed time-bending Primer, but it wasn't for lack of trying: According to producer Casey Gooden, the filmmaker devoted a lot of time to getting another movie made, called A Topiary, after Primer. But when that didn’t pan out, Carruth began working on his next project, Upstream Color, which premiered at Sundance and played SXSW last night. “He was taking a lot of meetings for A Topiary, and that wasn’t moving along as fast as he had hoped,” Gooden said at a Q&A after last night’s screening. “He was frustrated working on that, and kind of just moved on, and started writing this. He really doesn’t show anything until he’s done. [But when] he showed it to me, I was like, ‘Let’s go make this.’ So that’s what we did.”

Upstream Color, which Carruth also directed and stars in, is a beautiful puzzle of a film. Worms, orchids, nematodes, and pigs are involved. But according to Gooden—who worked with Carruth on Primer—there is an internal logic to the film. “I read the script, so it was written plainly enough for me to understand it,” he said. And the final product is pretty similar to the script Carruth wrote. “The story was all there,” Gooden said. “There were some little bits and pieces that—it was a bit like, we learned along the way. There were some elements that we found and we used. But the story and everything was there.”

As if writing, directing, and starring in Upstream Color wasn’t enough, Carruth also composed the film’s score. “Shane composes music as he’s writing, so that [happened] early on,” Gooden said. “He had a lot of music put together, and some of it didn’t make it into [the film], but it was always a key element.” Carruth split editing duties with David Lowery, too. “We were midway through production, and we had started editing some, [but] Shane wanted to get more done,” Gooden said. “So David actually came in and Shane will say this—David Lowry saved his life. So David came in, and really worked with Shane. Shane edited some, David edited some, and they just hit it off. And David’s eye for things just really worked—it’s rare to find someone that creative to get on the same wavelength as Shane.”

Upstream Color opens in theaters April 5. To find out where you can see the film, click here.

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Radio Flyer
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Pop Culture
Tiny Star Wars Fans Can Now Cruise Around in Their Very Own Landspeeders
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Radio Flyer

Some kids collect Hot Wheels, while others own model lightsabers and dream of driving Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder through a galaxy far, far away. Soon, Mashable reports, these pint-sized Jedis-in-training can pilot their very own replicas of the fictional anti-gravity craft: an officially licensed, kid-sized Star Wars Landspeeder, coming in September from American toy company Radio Flyer.

The Landspeeder has an interactive dashboard with light-up buttons, and it plays sounds from the original Star Wars film. The two-seater doesn’t hover, exactly, but it can zoom across desert sands (or suburban sidewalks) at forward speeds of up to 5 mph, and go in reverse at 2 mph.

The vehicle's rechargeable battery allows for around five hours of drive time—just enough for tiny Star Wars fans to reenact their way through both the original 1977 movie and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. (Sorry, grown-up sci-fi nerds: The toy ride supports only up to 130 pounds, so you’ll have to settle for pretending your car is the Death Star.)

Radio Flyer’s Landspeeder will be sold at Toys “R” Us stores. It costs $500, and is available for pre-order online now.

Watch it in action below:

[h/t Mashable]

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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