Primer (2004)

Director : Shane Curruth
Starring : Shane Curruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden.USA.1h 17m

This was a film that I took out of a DVD cover put it in the player watched the movie intently smiled politely put the DVD back in the cover went to the local university, completed a 9 year course and physics just understand the basics of the plot. I jest I simply looked things up on the wiki after watching the film about 15 times.

Without going into too much depth about the movie not only to try and not spoil the film but also because I just can’t! The basic outline is that a group of young engineers managed to accidentally stumble across an invention which can travel through time, which sounds pretty neat, but they have to test their new invention and obviously having curious minds they find new ways to push it to it’s limits.

This isn’t the entire basis of the film, really this is as loose of a plot as I can give but obviously with all of the elements of time travel, failed and successful experiments testing a time machine the film gets very detailed and in-depth eventually turning into a very taut thriller. It’s also worth understanding that this is lo fi sci-fi so don’t expect a huge array of sex and CGI it’s all very much barebones and for the mere $7,000 that it cost to make the movie it’s still a standing aesthetically pleasing it is.

Everything to do with the movie was birthed by Shane Carruth, he directed, produced wrote, composed the music for and starred in the movie, and with his degree in mathematics he makes no attempt to simplify the language used period it just seems to come across as “mumblecore”, with conversations often bounced around the room as the young graduates formulate their ideas, and somehow it still works even though you’re bombarded with technical jargon.

Primer really is one of the films that defines the Lo-fi Sci-Fi genre with it complicated theories blown apart and reconstructive the film details some of the significant complications with time travel without needing a single special effects.

You’ll be forgiven the missing any of the details in primer. The movie is so subtle and sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is any science fiction involved in it, luckily there is a very clear timeline available on the Wiki page for this movie which will help you if you do get lost.

Even with a documentary style filming attitude the cerebral film is still quite watchable and very enjoyable and it’s obvious why it has become cemented as one of the grounding films of lo-fi sci-fi and independent science fiction in general

Rating 7/10

R12 Monkeys (1995), Safety Not Guaranteed (2012), Sound of my Voice (2011)
L – Lo Fi Sci Fi My Introduction to the Genre, Time Travel,
A – Why Lo Fi is the Best Fi
5S – Shane Curruth


2 thoughts on “Primer (2004)”

  1. I could never get into this movie – I liked the idea of it and the low key execution of them basically getting in and out of chest freezers and talking what seemed to be real maths, but I just found it a bit dull. Maybe I need to go back to it.

    1. Hummm, it’s not going to be for everyone, maybe The Sound Of My Voice would interest you more or maybe The Future, but let me know if you can watch it without mentally killing the main couple at least 50 times

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