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Primer (2003)

Cast: Shane Carruth, Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, more...
Director: Shane Carruth, Shane Carruth
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Studio: New Line Home Video
Genre: Independent, Science Fiction , Time Travel, Mad Science, Mad Science
Running Time: 77 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

The debut feature from filmmaker Shane Carruth -- who wrote, directed, photographed, edited, scored, and stars -- Primer is a psychological sci-fi thriller about a group of four tech entrepreneurs. Toiling away in a garage, the quartet have successfully created error-checking systems for their clients. But their recent work seems to have created an unexpected and seemingly impossible side-effect. Suddenly, two members of the group realize they are in possession of a device that can double, or perhaps even quadruple, the space-time continuum of anything that enters it. What at first seems like a windfall of astronomical proportions eventually proves to be much more than they bargained for, as the duo attempt to manipulate time to their financial -- and emotional -- benefit. Also starring Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, and Carrie Crawford, Primer premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the coveted Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Plausible and realistic characters by TwoWolves November 14, 2007 - 6:47 AM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
The film's main strength is its balance of exacting detail with realistic characters. These characters are perhaps smarter than most of us, but no more or less moral or otherwise virtuous than everyday people. The viewer cares about the characters not because they are superior, but because they could be our friends or even us, if put in the same situation. Classic literary hard Sci-Fi.

Confusing but Worth It by akagaare August 22, 2007 - 10:57 AM PDT
Flipping past IFC I saw a few minutes of this and decided to DVR the next showing of it.

As someone else mentioned, when it starts there's all this technical mumbo jumbo and I didn't really understand what these guys were actually trying to do, but I did understand what they accidentally discovered. I thought I wasn't going to like it at first because of the technical stuff, but it was really an amazing film. And yes, I admit I was confused throughout the film and I didn't even quite get what happened at the end, but they still had me dropping my jaw.

Don't let my confusion stop you from seeing it, because it's not like you're confused and annoyed that they're not explaining what's happening, it's more like you're confused and excited about what they're doing.

Plus, this was a super low budget indie, which makes me want to champion how well they did even more.

Great conception of timetravel by MMorgan March 15, 2006 - 10:29 PM PST
Without resorting to spoilers, let me say that this was one of the more interesting films I have seen that tackles the problematic nature of recursive storytelling. All of the information you need to "solve" the story is given to you. Even so, there's a good chance you'll end up scratching your head and possibly hitting the rewind button to make sure you got something that may or may not have been of importance.
one point of criticism I do have is that certain plot elements were not emphasized enough to allow the viewer a window into the character's motivations (except retroactively, IMHO).

Ultimately I think this film was a great success,especially for a first project, with substantial kudos given for original story.

If you are interested in how low budget, independent films are made or at least how Shane Carruth made this one, definitely watch the director's commentary.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.79)
296 Votes
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