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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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'.Read more ›
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 ...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like puzzles, don't read about this movie. Just buy it and then keep watching it until you understand it, making sure you avoid spoilers. That's what I did. :)Published 2 months ago by Lasse Brandt
I concede that this film has its virtues: it manages to persuade you that such an incredible thing as time travel has really been discovered by real people. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr. Christopher T. E. Leake
I bought this because of the reviews & because it's about time travel wic made it sound interesting.. Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Spoors
So many 5 star ratings? Really? I'll give it 2 for effort and the idea, but come on, this film is almost entirely unfathomable. Read morePublished 6 months ago by beelzebomb
One of my top five films of all time. I've still not managed to understand it entirely!!!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
this was an accidental/unintended purchase on amazon prime. good film however never intended to buy it because it was free.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer