Grand Jury Prize-winner at Sundance 2004, Primer is a geeky little no-budget number about two suburban family guys who bash together a weird machine in their shed. They use spooky pipes, remixed circuitry and... that stuff that makes fridges work. Eventually, it looks like an unholy hybrid of an Apple PowerMac and the 2001 obelisk. When they turn it on, it makes a really odd noise. Oh, and it slows down time... Writer/director/composer Shane Carruth presents the story as one of cold, consuming obsession. Back To The Future it ain't. Unless you're an engineering PhD, there's no easy way into the two men's conspirational world of dense, overlapping jargon. It's like straining to tune into a conversation where it's clear something extraordinary is being discussed, if only you could work out what. Watch it three times. First time round, you'll be baffled and irritated. Second time, there'll be a few "Aaah! Now I see!" moments. Third time, it's as if David Lynch had directed Memento.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: August 12th 2005

User Reviews

    • bassthing

      Jan 21st 2010, 21:17


      I am in two halves regarding this film. On the one half, I wish this film had taken a little from a more traditional narrative and explained itself a little more clearly, after all what’s wrong with the audience being able to clearly understand what the hell is going on? On the other half it is a film that unlike many ‘Hollywood’ films does not treat the audience as is if they are dumb, passive voyeurs, and for that I salute the makers. This is not ‘entertainment’, you need to engage with this film, and that I appreciate. Certainly this is not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you engage, a world of time travel, intrigue, and mystery awaits.

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    • ParagraphFilms

      Mar 17th 2010, 18:49


      This is, without a doubt, the best – and most original Sci-Fi film I’ve ever seen. Puts every other time-travel story to shame and is so complex that it took me about 3 viewings to fully comprehend everything that went on because they make no attempt to dumb it down (honestly thought I had learning difficulties after watching it the first time!) Can’t say much else without giving away the plot etc, but considering the low budget, mind-bending physics and solid story… this is a must-see. I’ve watched it about ten times now and it’s still great to watch! Score: 9/10

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