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Primer [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Shane Carruth
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Palisades Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P4G9HS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,375 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Former engineer Shane Carruth announces himself as a force to watch with 'Primer', his first film. Carruth wrote, directed, edited, produced, photographed, scored, and stars in the film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. He plays Aaron, who, with his business partner and best friend, Abe, experiments with a device that seems to have more power than they could ever have imagined. Playing with batteries, refrigeration, and other techniques and materials in Aaron's garage, they discover that their machine just might have the ability to move back in time. Originally dealing with Weebles figures and wristwatches, Aaron and Abe are soon considering making a box large enough to transport a human being - with remarkable results. An indie hit, 'Primer' was made for about seven thousand U.S. Dollars. Carruth shot the film with a purposefully grainy look, as if it were made in the 1970s. The retro feel works well with the futuristic elements of the story, which lead Abe and Aaron to question reality, truth, and their own physical and mental being. Because he learned about film on his own without going to film school or making any previous shorts, Carruth brings a freshness to the genre that is invigorating, with unexpected plot twists and complex narratives that invite multiple viewings. 'Primer' is an unusual, unique, challenging, and thoroughly entertaining movie. Main Language: English Available Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Hearing Impaired: English Disc Format: DVD 9 Director Commentary Director Cast And Crew Commentary Original Theatrical Trailer Tartan Trailer Reel

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film about time travel but really concerns trust, of friends and yourself...or selves.
You do have to be prepared to think, it is complex, there is no revelatory moment where you are fed an explanation of the events. The film in no way panders to the audience, you have to try and work it out as the characters do, and after several viewings I'm not sure whether they do themselves. That though is one of the things that makes this film stand out, the director doesn't insult our intelligence in any way and you have to pay attention otherwise you will soon be lost.

For an micro budget production this is outstandingly well made, apparently costing around four thousand pounds and created virtually single handedly this should shame most film makers who spend more. I'm impressed by the quality of all aspects from writing through to sound and editing, in the very first scene the acting seems a little amateur but that soon passes and from there on everything is very professional, you don't notice the budget constraints and I wonder where the money goes in other films.

It really is a film that you want to watch again straight away, I've given it several viewings and even sat through the commentary (which is a first), but the time lines are so complex and paradox is so scattered through the script that there doesn't seem to be a way to resolve the story threads. This shouldn't be a selling point for a film but it is, it's as if the characters are still messing with events as you try to understand them, as if the story evolves as you view it. At one point a character's ears bleed, it felt like mine were going to.
I can't gush any more without revealing the plot, as much of it as i can follow anyway, but this is well worth buying if you like intelligent stories that make you think for days. Or migraines.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Put simply, this film is mind-blowing, staggering, and amazing. Made for the price of a used car, Shane Carruth's feature debut is a startlingly complex investigation into the realities of time travel. In spite of its modest 74 minutes length, this film had me pondering for days, and I've now seen it four times and am just about confident that I understand the gist of the plot. However, don't let the complexity put you off (and my, but it is complex; Memento and Mulholand Drive pale in comparison), one of the many joys of the film is that you never quite know what's going on, and this puts you in the exact position of the protagonists (there is one event involving a catatonic man which even the director has admitted he has no idea what exactly happened and inserted it purely to show how far out of their depth the characters are). You never feel like you need to work out exactly what happened, and how A got to B and then was in time to visit C, etc, as the central ideas and twists keep you on the edge of your seat.

The good things about this film are really too numerous to go into detail with without writing an essay; suffice to say that the acting is superb and realistic, the dialogue refreshing, the cinematography understated and perfect for the story, the score haunting and effective, the editing skillful, and the re-watchablity infinite.

A couple of things that really make this film one of my favourites of all time - the little details; the characters' ears bleeding for no reason and gradually losing the ability to write after too much time travel, subtle lines like "I haven't eaten since later this afternoon", and the need for oxygen tanks when waiting in the coffin-like homemade time machine 'boxes'.
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Format: DVD
I really enjoyed this film. Not for the cinematography, plot, characterisations, or acting (all of which were at least competent), but for the 'challenge' of it.

The blurb's comparison with Donnie Darko drew me to it, indeed I hadn't even heard of it before I saw it on the shelf in the video rental shop. I read the synopsis and, intrigued, took a chance on it.

The first thing that struck me was the feeling that the viewer was being excluded from the story: rather than it being performed for my benefit, I felt like an eavesdropper. No effort was made to signpost significant development. Even while the protagonists are simplifying their theorisation on the invention to themselves, the explanation is not intended for the audience. The exchange simply just conveys the spirit of their discovery, and their awe.

As a result, while it was perfectly possible to follow the teasingly drawn out story, it's culmination is sudden and typically obscure. Leaving the viewer with a hundred questions about the film, and only a vague grasp of the characters' experience.

The joy in this film is precisely in watching it again to increase your understanding. Unlike 'The Usual Suspects' where a second viewing was sufficient to test if the twist held up at the end, 'Primer' will take half a dozen sittings before you've grasped all the little clues and put them together cohesively ... but the sense of achievement (when it comes) is equal to the insight and cute plotting of the writer / director.

Well done Shane ...
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