Bodies and Affections in Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Colour”

machinic matter

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Over the past week I have been somewhat haunted by Shane Carruth’s latest offering, “Upstream Colour”, to such an extent that I feel compelled to reflect upon its visceral beauty. The task of finding a way in, of getting a purchase on Carruth’s film, is, however, by no means straightforward. Whilst the film certainly has a plot, Carruth makes little use or no use of the traditional signposts that we might expect to find in the cinematic experience. In a style that both reflects and refines that of his debut, the time-travel thriller “Primer”, Carruth uses the cinematic experience to challenge temporal conventions of linear causality, such that the whole idea of a plot as such has to be re-thought. The sheer complexity of the film’s encounters and happenings suggest an understanding of plot based instead upon the mutual entanglement of beings, whether human or otherwise. Whilst the film is pervaded…

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