Shane Carruth is not only one of the great 21st Century auteurs, he has proven himself a multi-talented, erudite artist in the medium of film making. These are grand claims for a man with only two features to his name. However, when we consider Carruth has written, directed, produced, acted, and scored both of these completely independent projects, we begin to see a great talent taking shape. Both Primer (2004) and Upstream Color (2013) share a singular voice, attempting to express that in life we find inexpressible. Deadline is now reporting Carruth has raised a much larger budget for his next project, The Modern Ocean; something he was unable to with his first two films. Little is known about the project, but from we can gather, this is going to be a very different film.
Speaking to Interview Magazine, Carruth gave some details on the setting and details of the film:
‘It’s actually set all over the world, in all sorts of remote places. It’s about shipping routes and trading commodities, pirates and privateers. It’s a tragic romance. I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a good thing.‘
In a later conversation with Motherboard, the director gave a few more hints as to what we can expect:
‘I’m constantly interested in the politics, interactions between different personalities, different characters. That’s what this boils down to: it erupts into a big action film, essentially, but the reasons why it does are the reasons the story exists. That characters are unable to get aligned is because they’re all pointed in different directions, they all have slightly different motives. And that’s not always known to the group.’
As apposed to his previous films, we can see Carruth will shift focus from the intimate relationship between a few people, to the dramatic tension that unfolds when a larger group is placed in a high-stress situation. With a larger budget to help, hints about the feature erupting into an action film are more than a little exciting. Carruth has proven himself a deft hand at constructing beautiful, if fragmented, sequences involving movement and emotion; to see the director move outside of his comfort zone to tackle an often stagnated element of cinema, the action thriller, fills me with hope.