Directed by: Martin Ponferrada / Boan Sunim / Ajahn Jamnean / Tsering Tashi / Subhana Barzhagi
Written by: Martin Ponferrada
Genre: Science Fiction
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Everything is Upstream
The quick version? Everything is Upstream is an animated / rotoscoped documentary highlighting people's dreams. No mess, no fuss. If you're looking for some form of answer regarding the world of dreams, there isn't one here. This short film focuses more on recounting and visualizing and leaves the rest to your imagination.
Other than the animated aspects of this short title, I also want to point out the great use of color. Light, dark, bright, it occurred to me that the color felt more like an extra character than a style. It cleverly dictates the mood and atmosphere and was especially effective considering the animated nature of the film. It also felt used in just the right amounts. Everything is Upstream is not blanketed in color, rather washed over with from time to time. The less is more ideal feels perfect and spot on and when you also factor in a suitably haunting background score, Ponferrada's short film definitely looks and sounds striking.
So, after my comments and praises on the visual style and music, the only thing really left to talk about is the concept and content itself. Sadly, this is where Everything is Upstream slows itself down a little. Hearing the various dreams as remembered by the people in this title is fascinating. As is the visuals that go along with the stories, but that's really all there is here. People remembering their dreams. It would have been really cool to have dug a little deeper, possibly theorizing on their meanings or origins. Dreams, especially recurring dreams have been an interest of mine for a long time. A little insight, as opposed to a straight up dictation, would have really pushed this title to the next level. Mixed with the Ponferrada's visual flare would have been amazing.
Although I felt this title could have been more than it actually is, there's no way to deny the general appeal this short film has. It draws you in and holds you, as any good film should. Although I wish it was a little deeper, I can't fault the film for what it is. An excellent diversion. I could also say that wanting more in a movie is actually a compliment. Three and a half stars.