Primer Starring Shane Carruth, David Sullivan. Directed by Shane Carruth Rated: PG-13
The smell of popcorn lingers under your nose, the sound of the stranger to your right slurping on his giant soda echoes in your ear, the feel of old gum strategically placed by the asshole who had your seat last rubs against your fingertips. Still, nothing seems to matter because your mouth is hanging open and the only thing racing through your mind is "What the fuck is going on?" Where are you? Smack in the center of the third row in the Ritz at the Bourse, wondering why you wasted $9.50 to watch self-taught director Shane Carruth's Primer. Winner of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival's "Grand Jury" award, Primer recounts the perplexing journey of four young engineers' quest to create a time-traveling machine.
This movie is anything but ordinary. The engineers invent a machine that takes their clones several hours back into the past. Viewers spend the last grueling hour of the movie watching the original characters duel it out with their clones over control of reality. This $7,000 film addresses the ethical and metaphysical dilemmas that the invention introduces. The plethora of technological jargon makes this film feel foreign. The un-relatable characters, the thrifty attempt at sci-fi thrills and the cockamamie plotline reaffirm the director's amateur status. Maybe SEAS students will provide Primer with a cult following, but for everyone else, consider yourself warned.