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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

Primer
Topic by: Cinenaut
Posted: May 12, 2005 - 11:25 AM PDT
Last Reply: June 25, 2005 - 3:43 PM PDT

author topic: Primer
Cinenaut
post #1  on May 12, 2005 - 11:25 AM PDT  
Who's seen Primer? This low budget ($7000!!?) indie film is an excellent illustration of the fact that it's not the special effects, it's the writing that makes the sci fi film.

Primer's plot is quite confusing, especially for such a short movie (76 minutes), and it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. You'll probably want to watch it twice (if you don't get too frustrated after the first viewing).

People are endlessly arguing about the possible permustations over here: Primer movie discussion forum
kohnfused1
post #2  on May 13, 2005 - 10:15 AM PDT  
Saw it the other day, got frustrated with the bad sound. I didn't mind the "geek" talk, (1st 15 mins. and maybe the rest of the flick) but why is everyone talking --- all
at the same time? When there is an actual "talk, listen, talk" conversation going on, it seems that the actors were talking underneath their breath i,e mumbling. What's up with that? I couldn't get past this and actually lost interest. I hit stop on the remote and but it back in the GC envelope. Maybe I had to see in a movie theatre.
Cinenaut
post #3  on May 13, 2005 - 1:03 PM PDT  
Aw, you should have stuck with it past the Altman-esque geek speak everybody-talk-at-once part to the utterly confusing time travel part.

Interview with Writer/Director Shane Carruth in the Village Voice.
kohnfused1
post #4  on May 13, 2005 - 4:29 PM PDT  
> On May 13, 2005 - 1:03 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Aw, you should have stuck with it past the Altman-esque geek speak everybody-talk-at-once part to the utterly confusing time travel part.
>
> Interview with Writer/Director Shane Carruth in the Village Voice.
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, I know I should have. Normally, I'm pretty patient with movies, but I was really expecting a lot out of this one. Maybe I'll give it a shot in the future... or will it be in the past...
Cinenaut
post #5  on May 17, 2005 - 7:18 AM PDT  
***SPOILERS***

Basically, they accidentally invent a machine that flips an object (and later, of course, a person) back and forth in time between the moment the machine is turned on and the moment it's turned off. It's therefore possible for them to turn on the machine, wait 6 hours, then get into the machine with the day's stock market or sports results and end up back at the beginning of the six hours. At first they're careful... they set timers to turn the machines on, so they can avoid bumping into themselves coming out and they hide in hotel rooms to avoid meeting anyone they know during the six hours. Later, things get more complicated.
kohnfused1
post #6  on May 17, 2005 - 12:51 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2005 - 7:18 AM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> ***SPOILERS***
>
> Basically, they accidentally invent a machine that flips an object (and later, of course, a person) back and forth in time between the moment the machine is turned on and the moment it's turned off. It's therefore possible for them to turn on the machine, wait 6 hours, then get into the machine with the day's stock market or sports results and end up back at the beginning of the six hours. At first they're careful... they set timers to turn the machines on, so they can avoid bumping into themselves coming out and they hide in hotel rooms to avoid meeting anyone they know during the six hours. Later, things get more complicated.
> ---------------------------------

Isn't this the same premise for "Back to the Future"?
Cinenaut
post #7  on May 17, 2005 - 2:07 PM PDT  
More or less, but without the incest.
kohnfused1
post #8  on May 18, 2005 - 4:10 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2005 - 2:07 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> More or less, but without the incest.
> ---------------------------------

I guess that's the difference between a blockbuster and an indie. Amazing!
pmoore
post #9  on May 19, 2005 - 7:28 AM PDT  
> On May 18, 2005 - 4:10 PM PDT kohnfused1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On May 17, 2005 - 2:07 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > More or less, but without the incest.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> I guess that's the difference between a blockbuster and an indie. Amazing!
> ---------------------------------
Taking a look at your conversation, I wanted to point out what I thought was great about Primer, which is the way everyone was talking over eachother. I didn't see it as poor sound management, but a brilliant way of covering massive amounts of information by only letting us pick up on a few key points. It's the same with All the President's Men where you get this sense that so much is happening so fast it's impossible to keep track, but you always know the key pieces to keep the story moving.

Contrast that with the "How we can make dinosaurs today" lecture in Jurassic Park and you can see that what may seem at first like shoddy filmmaking is actually a way more intriguing way of telling a story.
kohnfused1
post #10  on May 19, 2005 - 11:29 AM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 7:28 AM PDT pmoore wrote:
---------------------------------
> Taking a look at your conversation, I wanted to point out what I thought was great about Primer, which is the way everyone was talking over eachother. I didn't see it as poor sound management, but a brilliant way of covering massive amounts of information by only letting us pick up on a few key points. It's the same with All the President's Men where you get this sense that so much is happening so fast it's impossible to keep track, but you always know the key pieces to keep the story moving.
>
> Contrast that with the "How we can make dinosaurs today" lecture in Jurassic Park and you can see that what may seem at first like shoddy filmmaking is actually a way more intriguing way of telling a story.
> ---------------------------------

As the commercial in "RobocoP" says, "I'll buy that for a dollar!"
Cinenaut
post #11  on May 19, 2005 - 12:03 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 7:28 AM PDT pmoore wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Taking a look at your conversation, I wanted to point out what I thought was great about Primer, which is the way everyone was talking over eachother. I didn't see it as poor sound management, but a brilliant way of covering massive amounts of information by only letting us pick up on a few key points. It's the same with All the President's Men where you get this sense that so much is happening so fast it's impossible to keep track, but you always know the key pieces to keep the story moving.
>
> Contrast that with the "How we can make dinosaurs today" lecture in Jurassic Park and you can see that what may seem at first like shoddy filmmaking is actually a way more intriguing way of telling a story.
> ---------------------------------

Hear, hear! I just heard an interview with Anthony LaPaglia on NPR's Fresh Air and he was talking about his role in a movie called Winter Solstice. He mentions the fact that on a lot of TV shows, a character tells you what he's going to do, then he does it and then he tells you what he just did. Apparently, Winter Solstice has sparse dialog for LaPaglia's character, so it required communicating via his emotions, rather than just having his character sitting there explaining the plot. What we're talking about here with Primer isn't quite the same thing, but the same idea applies: not everything has to be spelled out!
kohnfused1
post #12  on May 19, 2005 - 4:51 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 12:03 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
What we're talking about here with Primer isn't quite the same thing, but the same idea applies: not everything has to be spelled out!
>
> ---------------------------------

What if they used emoticons?

:-)
Cinenaut
post #13  on May 20, 2005 - 8:33 AM PDT  
kohnfused1, I'm going to respond to you with an emoticon.

:-D

I responded to you with a laughing emoticon.
kohnfused1
post #14  on May 20, 2005 - 11:12 AM PDT  
Aren't emoticons the sworn enemies of the Autobots?

Or are they a different kind of Decepticons?

leeloo67
post #15  on June 24, 2005 - 11:50 AM PDT  
**Possible spoilers here?**

Ok, Primer was awesome. Anyone thinking of critiquing the "sound" needs to stop and remember the budget for this movie. Unlike most Hollywood movies, at least this one was worth listening to (and watching)!

Them all talking at once only added to the realism, and realism in a movie is what you want when you are planning on freaking the viewer out near the end. I got chills when they were chasing the bad copy of that one dude down the alley. It also reminded me of Time Code, which had the screen split into 4 different sections and they all play at once.

Some of my friends didn't like this movie because they didn't want to have to go back and watch it again to figure out what the heck actually happens. Funny, but they all loved Memento...
Cinenaut
post #16  on June 24, 2005 - 2:58 PM PDT  
> On June 24, 2005 - 11:50 AM PDT leeloo67 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Some of my friends didn't like this movie because they didn't want to have to go back and watch it again to figure out what the heck actually happens. Funny, but they all loved Memento...
> ---------------------------------

That's what I loved about it, but I also like Gene Wolfe novels. I was inspired to make a list of Puzzle Movies.

vexkitten
post #17  on June 25, 2005 - 3:43 PM PDT  
> On May 20, 2005 - 11:12 AM PDT kohnfused1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Aren't emoticons the sworn enemies of the Autobots?


Emoticons are sworn enemies of sentient beings. Wait - reverse that.

I've been waiting to see Primer, but it seems to be perpetually yellow.
There's a time-travel joke in there somewhere. I'd find it, but Manos: The Hands of Fate awaits me....

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