A Review of the Film Primer by Shane Carruth

A Review of the Film Primer by Shane Carruth

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A Review of the Film Primer by Shane Carruth

This week I’m reviewing a film that was not hugely publicized, Primer.
I’ll be telling you whether it’s a must see cult film to be or whether
the film wasn’t publicized for a good reason.

Basic run down of the story is that a group of amateur inventors who
want to create something more than the simple low profit creations
they have come up with so far. They create a machine which slows down
or speeds up time of the space inside it. After discovering this ‘device’
the group uses this to travel, a few hours at a go, through time. As
always this causes conflict within the group, along with strange side
effects sets up for a very interesting yarn.

Now I warn you, this film has hardly got a shred of action in it. It
is to be watched only for those who are interested in something a
little more intellectual. Ok I lied, a lot more intellectual. This
film is one of the few films that had me watching it again within 48
hours of last seeing it, but I warn you again you must be prepared to
watch the film again at some point in the near future as the concepts
and ideas that the film tackles are so mind boggling that after the
first viewing my brains felt scrambled (in a good way of course).

The film in itself is wonderfully horrid. Because the pathetic budget,
merely seven thousand dollars, has brought it down. A huge proportion
of the film is badly focused with much of the sound tinny or muffled.
The director Shane Carruth hadn’t a clue how to film a movie and this
is clear in many of the finer points of the filming itself. The film
doesn’t have awe inspiring scenery, nor a cast of super stars and
special effects are pretty much non existent. But these features aren’t
what are attractive about this film, this film relies almost entirely
on brains and it definitely has a whole lot of them.

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In fact I doubt I’ve
watched a film so wonderfully thought provoking in my life.

I love it because it is as far apart from what you think of as a ‘film’
as you can possibly get, its

Many of the things that add to the atmosphere of this film could be a
lucky side effect from that low budget rather than a conscious
decision. The acting is often very dry, and very wooden. But this is
how people in ‘real’ life are. They don’t have perfect communication
skills. I personally would expect a amateur inventor to have the
social skills of a fried kipper. Also the settings are often very
cheap, very disorganized etc .whether these were purpose decisions or
accidental results doesn’t matter in the slightest it’s the effect
that they have in the film as a whole, as someone much wiser than me
said it’s the small things that make a big difference. That couldn’t
be truer here, even with the bad focusing and the muffled sound the
experience is immersive. You truly feel the dilemma of these people
when they are planning ways to avoid a paradox in the timeline etc

All this talk of time travel pops the image of hardcore sci-fi. I’m
not even sure if the film would fall under the sci-fi bracket even
though it does have some elements of sci-fi with the ‘device’. In this
sci-fi aspect the team examine loopholes, paradoxes and complexities
of time travel, but what plays a larger part is the effect that the
device has on the group, and as someone else said, with great power
comes great responsibility.

But to put all that in short the film has huge intellectual and
theoretical prowess, brought down by a low budget and low quality. As
a fellow review said ‘It's not easy to follow. The production values
aren't perfect. There's not an obvious 'good guy' or 'bad guy.' But
was this movie any good? Oh hell yes.’ Enjoy folks.
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