Written by: Martin Ponferrada, Boan Sunim, Ajahn Jamnean, Tsering Tashi, Subhana Barzaghi | Directed by: Martin Ponferrada | Genre: Anim
Everything Is Upstream is a combination animation, and something of a conversation piece. The animations are cartooned images and footage of monks describing their dreams. Filmmaker Martin Ponferrada, when interviewing people for this short film, ended up with over ten hours of interview footage, which he widdled down to this film that is under ten minutes. This must have been a massively challenging and time consuming feat. The results are a short film that is not only quite interesting conecptually, but also visually appealing.
This isn't the type of film you'll see every day; its story is one to discuss and think about when it's over. Five dreams made the cut and I can only wonder what made them more special than any dropped dreams, but good conversation stories they are. Not only just hearing them, but attempting to break them apart yourself, and find your own meaning.
And that brings me to the only downer of this film. The lack of a break down, lack of hypothesis from the film itself. It's cool to hear these dreams/stories, but it doesn't change the fact I expected some form of discussion about their meaning, far more than what there actually is. Dreams are one of those topics almost anyone finds interesting. But hearing the dream itself is only half the fun.
To wrap things up let me say that for ten minutes, the viewer (me) was treated to a highly stylized, slightly hypnotic venture into the dreams of others. The use of animation and even color was a visual treat, but when broken down there's not a lot to grasp onto. But Everything Is Upstream is very quick, so I doubt anyone will have the time to really complain about the slight shallowness of the film. By the time you notice, it's over.
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