Sunday, May 23, 2010

A movie review: Primer (2004)

Primer (2004)
Director - Shane Carruth
77 Min; PG-13
Grand Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival
Aaron - Shane Carruth
Abe - David Sullivan

There is no possible way for me to review the film Primer without first explaining that it was created on a budget of just $7,000 and shot mainly in the garage of the director/writer/actor Shane Carruth. Why that is important, mainly, is that this film is so well done in a sci-fi indie sense to the extent that I never would have thought twice about it being such a low budget production. Other than a few sound and editing issues the story itself is pretty complex. The fact that the writer decided to keep the story itself simple and understated while the dialogue is complex and unsettling makes for a very strange viewing experience.

The story is that of a group of engineers/scientists working on inventions (at this point a potential box that can reduce some of the qualities of gravity on an object) when out of nowhere two of the members realize that what they really have invented is some sort of time travel device. Unable to explain it even to themselves, Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) decide to remove themselves from the group and continue their work alone. Once their comprehension of the basic working principles is in place they do what anyone else would do – they use time travel to make money in the stock market, of course. It sounds corny, but the film is anything but, and as the true workings of the time travel ‘box’ become known we come to realize that we are never sure if we are watching and listening to the original characters or their doubles/triples etc who are also coming and going from the box.

After you watch the film take a look at this link for some fun mind blowing fun: This is a film that will leave you wanting to look up and seek out the complex issues of the film, and I for one love the entire idea of this movie as a human nature piece more than anything else.

*** and a ½ out of 5

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