Excerpts from a Critic’s Screening Notes for UPSTREAM COLOR, Arranged as Free Verse

Excerpts from a Critic’s Screening Notes for UPSTREAM COLOR, Arranged as Free Verse


Warning: plot spoilers ahead.

“It won’t come out.”



Surgery. Pulling worm out, putting into pig.

Worms in dirt.

Pig tagged in ear.

Pig w/ other pigs.


Kissing in bed. He has scar on ankle.

Then they’re lying naked in sheets in pig field

“Why do you live in hotels?”


Pregnancy is impossible

He finds her on street, she’s incoherent

“I’m marrying you”

She insists on getting a car


Happy together

Telling stories about past—but whose memories are they?

New house

“I tell you a story, and you take it and make it your own”

His childhood trips to Vermont—

Memories jumbled



She’s lost, he’s driving, giving her directions to get out

“Why were you at my work?” “I didn’t know I was”

They run home, looking for… what?

Crouched in the bathtub, afraid


She recites as he reads from WALDEN

“A sojourner in civilized life again”

“A universal and memorable ending”


Rebirth: good or bad?


Looking for more flowers, but finds only white ones

In greenhouse, the thief shakes his head “no,” as if disappointed by plants

Kris w/ piglet, cradling it like a baby

Nelson Kim is a regular contributor to Hammer To Nail and an adjunct
professor at Fordham and Columbia. He is currently in post-production on
his first feature film,
Someone Else, starring Aaron Yoo and Leonardo

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