Primer

“I haven’t eaten since this afternoon.”

To make a movie that wins Sundance Festival’s prestigious “Grand Jury Prize” award is one thing, but to do it with a debut film that cost $7000 is, frankly, ridiculous. The mathematician (yes, not filmmaker) behind this feat was Shane Carruth and the movie was Primer (2004).

Primer deals with sci-fi’s most dangerous subject; time travel. When done poorly, time travel movies alienate their audiences and cause them to question the logic and science of the plot, which, as a filmmaker, is the opposite of what you want of your audience. A great time travel movie is one that moves at a satisfying pace, passes over you like a warm breeze and delivers enough twists and turns to keep you occupied and without questioning too much logic. Primer does all of this, yet at the same time is full of mathematical jargon that only the physicists among us will understand, and is still a success.

The greatest thing I can say about this movie is that it was raw. It was a pleasure to watch because you can tell the cast and crew were having an absolutely incredible time just making a movie. There were scenes in which they didn’t have a focus puller, so the blocking made members of cast appear out of focus. In a Hollywood production this would be unacceptable, but in Primer it added to the heady, sci-fi feel of the movie. The camerawork was fantastic, and the cinematographer did a great job with the colour tones and overall look and feel of each shot; everything was adventurous and exciting, even shots of computer chips, solder and numbers on computer monitors!

The innocent pursuit of knowledge is a large theme of the movie. The protagonists stumble across one of the biggest breakthroughs in human history, and while the science is exciting the scientists as well as the audience, there is an undercurrent of tension and unease. Much like the sci-fi movies of the 30s and 60s, the scientific progress is seen as an unknown, possibly dangerous pursuit for the human race. This tone left me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know how the plot was going to unfold, but it was never boring or unenjoyable. It also ventures into Memento/The Presitge territory, which are firm favourites of mine, and the ending is as enigmatic as you’d expect. Everything that stitched the movie together was execptional, and despite some of the acting being a little bit suspect at times, Primer was one of those movies that I will definitely be watching again.

If you are a sci-fi fan, a lover of independent movies, or want to watch a movie during which your brain needs to be 100% engaged, Primer is the perfect choice.

Advertisements


Categories: General Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I love primer. It has a really creepy undercurrent where you know things are going to end badly. I still don’t fully understand it though!

  2. I have only watched this one time. Therefore I have no idea what the hell was going on, but I still enjoyed it. nice review

Trackbacks

  1. Resolution « Frame Rates

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Craft Fear

Handmade horror with a side of suds.

The Obsessive Viewer

Blog & Podcasts featuring movie/TV reviews and editorials about the entertainment industry.

The Popcorn Bandit

Salted popcorn, shaken not stirred | Just an average guy reviewing films for the average Joe.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Motion Pictures

Lindsey D.'s ramblings on the moving image!

Modest Movie

Opinions from the back of the theater

Critical Dave

Where I pontificate on things (mainly movies) and you read if you want to. Spoilers are everywhere, so read at your own peril.

1001 Movies...Before I Die!

Read what I write about what I see!

%d bloggers like this: