Two young engineers, Abe and Aaron, are members of a small
group of men who work by day for a large corporation while
conducting extracurricular experiments on their own time in
a garage. While tweaking their current project, a device that
reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it by
blocking gravitational pull, they accidentally discover that
it has some highly unexpected capabilities - ones that could
enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want.
Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge
they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next...
a movie that will make little-to-no sense the first time you
watch it - almost guaranteed. You're going to be watching
it at least a couple of times to get the subtle references
to events that have yet to come. This also makes reviewing
this movie next to impossible - as it's difficult to convey
just how well conceived this film is without giving away some
of the plot.
movie starts with engineers Aaron and Abe trying to make a
name for themselves. They are part of a group of four like-minded
engineers that hold down full-time jobs during the day and
then get together to design their own products, which they
sell via mail order, during the evenings. They are looking
for that break that will allow them to make it rich and leave
their dull jobs behind.
latest invention turns out to be bigger than their wildest
dreams. What at first appears to be a device that reduces
the mass of any object placed inside it, soon takes the inventors
on a dark journey. It becomes apparent that this device will
allow items to travel back in time, and so a larger version
is built that can house a human.
was refreshing to see that the final "coffins" used
in the film steered well away from the usual movie clichés.
No chrome finishes, or flashing banks of different coloured
lights, they are just boxes with wires all over them. Now
that's much more believable.
smashes all known genre boundaries, taking the viewer into
unknown territory. There is a small problem with this though,
90% of today's audience will simply not get it. They'll go
away scratching their heads wondering what the hell they've
a huge fan of the Back to the Future trilogy in the
'80s and early '90s, I, along with similar minded anoraky
types, would spend many an hour working through the countless
paradoxes of the movies (like why, in Back to the Future
III, didn't Doc just take out the gasoline from the DeLorean
in the cave to power the DeLorean that Marty arrived in from
1955? Okay, the whole movie revolves around their search for
a fuel source, but why didn't they even consider this option?).
Primer knocks this sort of debate up to a whole different
are plenty of unanswered questions and confused situations,
but then if you are going to send yourself back to the same
time more than once, what do you expect? Some of the interesting
elements include the mystery around the bearded version of
Abe's girlfriend's father (something that leaves the viewer
pondering yet another future that has yet to unfold). Then
there is the scratching in the loft of Aaron's house. Was
that birds or is it that body (I won't reveal whose) that
we know is stashed up there in a different timeline? And then
there are telltale signs that it was probably Aaron that travelled
back in time before Abe (and that he just went through the
motions of letting Abe tell him what he'd discovered). The
fact that Aaron's ear bleeds the very first time (or the apparent
first time) he uses the box - this doesn't happen to Abe until
the second time he uses it. And did I imagine it, or was Aaron's
writing a bit ropey before he travelled (well, he grips his
pen in a very unusual way) - something that we discover is
a side effect of using the coffin.
there are plenty of subtle pointers to suggest fragmentation
of the timeline. There are shots where numerous windows allow
us to view scenes from a slightly different perspective. This
is most noticeable in the garage, but is also visible in the
Carruth is this
century's answer to Orson Wells. He's responsible for producing,
directing, writing, editing, composing the music and acting
in this ground breaking original work of art. And the fact
that he made this movie for a staggeringly low $7000 just
proves that you don't need a huge budget to realise your dream.
is one movie that will keep your mind ticking over long after
the credits have rolled. And, each time you watch it again,
you'll find something else to set your mind off on another
train of thought.
include two commentaries (one with the director and a second
with the director as well as members of the cast and crew);
original trailer; original trailer; and a some trailers for
other Tartan releases. Incidentally the sound on the director's
commentary is pretty poor - the sound keeps getting louder
its name may suggest, Primer is certainly a lot more
entertaining than watching paint dry. Like Aaron and Abe,
watch this once, and then go back and watch it again and again.