Friday, 20 July 2012

filmbore pick of the week - Primer

Primer Shane Carruth
Screenplay: Shane Carruth
Starring: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan
Year: 2004
Language: English
UK rental release: February 2006

Rotten Tomatoes

Never confront yourself in the past or future unless want to create a paradox! Don't change anything when you go back, as you can't comprehend the dire ramifications of your time line if you do! Don't trust Arnold Schwarzenegger in a leather jacket looking for multiple Sarah Connors! Those of you who like a good time-travel movie like me will be familiar with the standard rules of journeying through Father Time's back garden. We all think we're experts on the subject thanks to years of excellently crafted movies covering genres of horror, sci-fi, comedy and beyond. That is...until you watch Primer!

Even the most seasoned, cerebral-enhanced film buff will face a challenge when confronted with this complicated affair. Shane Carruth's directorial debut is a brave creation, delving deep into the philosophies of time lines, while approaching deep resentment of the outcomes of meddling with them. wanting to give too much of the plot away four engineering friends, working in the darker realms of science as specialists in error-checking devices, feel that there is something more meaningful within their grasp. As geniuses of their fields, they should be able to generate something that could benefit the world we live in, or maybe just their pockets. Through some experimentation, two of them chance upon a unique mechanism of elite innovation. And, as they are completely unsure of how to market and capitalise on the machine, they decide the best thing to do is play around with it first and test it out themselves...

Shane Carruth (as well as directing, photographing, editing and scoring the movie) stars as one of the device's founders, Aaron, and along with his colleague, and "partner-in-time" Abe (David Sullivan, The Astronaut Farmer) they take part in the unravelling of their standard continuum via a schizophrenic play-off. Both play their roles naturally, which truly suits, as the whole piece is played out via nicely loose handheld camera shots giving it a real personal touch. This may be down to budget and experience, but it's an honest friend to the film, plugging you directly into the tale like plutonium into a flux capacitor.

Paranoia plays an important part in this story too, as trust is key to their success, not only as co-creators of their new invention but thorugh the themes that the plot reveals throughout (that's all I can spoilers here!).

As a first film, Shane Carruth hasn't just nurtured a competent first offering to the world of cinema but possibly crafted the most intelligent time-travel film ever. I can't wait to see what he puts together for his second movie (Upstream Colour, currently in pre-production) if this is anything to go by. Primer definitely warrants a second view as well - not only to comprehend the complexity of the plot but to enjoy an originally conceived small film with a large brain.

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