STARRING: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan,
Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, Carrie Crawford
2004, 77 Minutes, Directed by:
had a similar treasured experience with Primer as I did with
Babylon 5 and
2001: A Space Odyssey . . .
For starters, I watched each of
them with no particular expectations or preconceptions. Specifically, I watched
it in bed on my laptop with headphones on while my companion had her usual
sinful Sunday lie-in. Despite the less than ideal viewing environment watching
Primer turned out to be a treasured experience . . .
In the spirit of the above I do
not want to give too much away about the story (which is why this review has no
However, I will say that
Primer is based around a perennial sci-fi story-telling mechanism, but you
do not know that until you are fairly well into the film. That's what I love
about this film - it doesn't force feed you any information. It was really only
by the end of the film that one realizes what had actually been going on for the
previous hour and a half. I imagine that could be intensely irritating, but the
believable characters and intelligent pacing of the story ensure one’s
I can disclose a little: the
story is centered on the industrial science exploits of four young professionals
and is somewhat reminiscent of the book Timescape by Gregory Benford
(though thankfully rather less drawn out).
In the interest of a balanced
viewpoint, if I think hard about it I would perhaps criticize certain elements
of the last third of the film which I found really confusing and necessitated
repeat viewing of that last section. (Some more nastily inclined might say
though that the blame for that lies with my own limited mental capacity.)
Oddly enough one of the stars
of the show is a self-storage container - surely one of the most mundane objects
in existence. Nevertheless it is essential in a classic moment of revelation -
"Oh, they're not going to do that are they..?! They are! Brilliant!" You will
So, please do not head straight
for IMDb.com or any other sites to find out what the story is about, amusing trivia
involving a rice cooker, the release date in Hungary, etc . . .
Well, actually you can do what
you like, but don't blame me if it spoils your fun!
- Geoff Clayton