Depending on how many times you’ve seen it, “Upstream Color” is difficult, spellbinding, maddening and/or confusing. Shane Carruth’s film is ambiguous enough that anyone can come up with their own interpretation as to what it’s all supposed to mean. Film essayist Anna Catley has created a visual essay on the film quite some time ago.
The aptly titled “Walden Connection” compares the themes and the story of “Upstream Color” to Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” the American literary classic that’s heavily and explicitly referenced throughout Carruth’s film. And while Carruth has never claimed that the book has a deep thematic connection to his movie, Catley’s findings are still pretty fascinating. Check it out below. [35MM]