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  • Primer
    • Primer
    • Runtime:77 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-20 23:30:30
    • Director: Shane Carruth
    • Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
    • Studio:


Primer is a science-fiction movie about two scientists who accidentally
discover time travel. Abe and Aaron are the two scientists in question,
and they begin to use time traveling for different reasons and meanings
eventually culminating in one of the most confusing movies I have ever

See Primer is a movie that focuses a lot on what you, the viewer
actually thinks about the movie. The plot starts out very slowly, very
realistically, and while it takes a long time to get the plot rolling
it also lets the plot roll faster and faster until its going so fast
that even you as the viewer seemingly cannot follow it.

Primer does this by making the plot get more and more complex and at
the same time causes the viewers to get more and more confused. You
might be asking yourself why I would review a movie that's extremely

Because its freaking awesome.

Primer, even though it goes fast and gets confusing, never really gets
out of the viewer's grasp. Even during parts where I failed to
understand what was going on, it didn't lose the emotion that each new
plot twist revealed. I was still emotionally sold to the movie even
when I couldn't quite keep up.

The other reason I'm writing a review is because all the confusion is
completely intentional. Shane Carruth actually wrote the film so that
the complexity it takes to understand the plot capitalizes at the same
time that the characters' emotional and moral issues reach their
breaking point. In this way the film is made in such a way as to break
the fourth wall and actually cause the audience to experience first
hand the same thing that the characters are going through.

All movies do this, that is the point of a movie, and what Shane
Carruth has done with his movie is an innovative way of using film by
actually changing the emotion that we are supposed to be feeling. Think
about horror films, you go to see horror films so that you can be
scared, you go to see tragedies so that you can be sad. True film,
though, will capitalize these feelings and emotions while still having
a point. Watchmen for instance (and if you haven't seen it, GOOD GOD!
FIX THAT!) was a "superhero" movie that made you feel manly and heroic
like any action film or superhero movie is supposed to do, even if it
does it in an unorthodox and original way. But there's a point beneath
Watchmen, albeit political, it exists.

True art combines emotions with intellectual stimulation and has a
point. That is the separation between films and movies.

Anyways, ranting a little bit there, You would see Primer to experience
something that most people don't feel when they go to see a movie,
because movies don't intentionally do this very often. Primer wants you
to be confused. But the point is that the characters are just as
confused. What are they confused about? Moral Issues. And that is
something that everyone can relate to.

So, go and see Primer. Don't be set off by the fact that it has the
label of science fiction, because the science fiction is layered on so
thin as to be non-existent. This is literature on film. Did I mention
its short? Like REALLY short, its an hour and quarter. Everyone has
time to see this movie and it is highly recommended by yours truly.


Made for less than my checking account, with free sets and crew as
actors. An acknowledged learning exercise–no funds for what
movie-making adults call "continuity" –that most viewers cannot and
should not have to follow. Nonlinear, often inexplicable experimenting
of tranquilized engineers in Texas into time-travel using equipment
from commonly available objects, that leaks no less. They use staccato
speech (personal verbal shorthand?) with unfinished sentences and gaps
in logic to fall into a time-travel warp of many loops and unknown
properties. Paradoxes obviously multiply as everything collapses in
their lives, including the unreliable narrator device. Laws of physics
are among casualties–the famous time travel paradox does not apply.
Exestentiality controls their destiny and those around them (what would
any Texas setting be without a gratituitous shooting reference?) My
personal indicator not to netflix Sundance favorites.


What I and the other people who liked this movie share is a particular
demographic, techno-geek, fond of puzzles. If you don't fit that
profile, you simply will not like this movie.

Here are the reasons that most normal well balanced people would not
like this movie:

1. Certain production values are just not up to scratch. It is hard to
see how the director could have got more out of his miniscule budget,
but these days unless you have kick ass cgi and perfect cinematography,
most people will be irritated. Seeing it again, I am really impressed
by the simple hacks the director pulled off to save money.

2. The plot is impossible to follow on the first viewing, and in fact
it probably needs a little research and discussion before you begin to
figure out what's happening and only then does it begin to be fun to
watch. This is a big no-no for conventional film making. It is
generally considered unfair on your audience to require them to watch a
movie twice before enjoying it. Christopher Nolan did something similar
with Memento, except that it was possible to at least feel you "got it"
after seeing it the first time.

3. Acting is a little patchy in places and the voice-over is a pretty
dated cinematic trick.

4. The director made a movie he did not quite intend to make, so the
tag line and trailer don't really convey what the movie is actually
about. Carruth intended to show how two friends become alienated when
they invent a machine which makes them all powerful. It is a character
arc based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. What happens when you have
everything? Actually the movie turned out a little different. The
character arcs are still there, which, in my view marks it out as a
decent movie to start with. But what has everyone buzzing is the
innovative method of time travel described and the possibilities that
it opens up. The plot and its various interpretation have become a kind
of puzzle which appeals to people who like puzzles.

Personally, I don't think there is one valid way to interpret the plot.
I think Carruth ended up putting nearly all of his film stock into the
finished print, so the end result was to an extent dictated by the
small budget. It is therefore not nearly so well worked out as people
tend to think it is. But it nevertheless fun trying.


Well, I read some IMDb reviews before I watched it, being careful not
to read anything that contained spoilers, and MAN am I happy I did. I
watched it at night being bored, had nothing to watch and thought, ah
what the heck, give it a chance. I shouldn't give it a chance. I should
have been prepared for a mind-twisting awesome experience of a movie
which sets the example that script makes a good movie, NOT special
effects! Don't get me wrong, I love retarded eyecandy as well ( read :
Transformers ) but this movie luckily proved I still have a bit of
sanity left. And then the movie took away my sanity, twisted it and
gave me an experience like no other movie in a long time. Watch Primer,
don't watch what it's about and enjoy!

Watch Primer Online for Free

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