Sunday, August 07, 2005


Under the strong recommendation of Jack Thunder, who sent out an impassioned email regarding this movie a few months back, I decided to watch Primer.

I put my name in at the library and waited . . . waited . . . and waited some more.

Finally on Friday I got email indicating that the movie was MINE.

Tegan and I watched it on Saturday night.

It was good, really good, and really challenging as well. This movie won awards at Sundance and beat out Garden State in the process. It has been compared to Stanley Kubrick's 2001 in almost every place I have seen it referenced. But I don't agree with that.

2001 was classic science fiction and took great pains to depict a fictional story by being faithful to the science. And in this sense, 2001 and Primer are the same. But otherwise they are not the same. 2001 was a fairly conventional story and wasn't that confusing (except for the last thirty minutes or so when David Bowman went out to confront the Monolith).

Primer is not conventional and has more of a connection to Memento and Groundhog's Day with a bit of 2001's science carefulness. Primer tells a story that is difficult to explain even after watching it carefully, then watching the director's commentary--hoping to glean clues and understand things not discernible the first go-round.

There is a lot of technical dialogue, but it is all REAL technical stuff--not Star Trek technobabble. But don't let that stuff scare you off; this movie is really about two people and how power changes them, makes them confront choices they might not have faced otherwise. And in that sense it doesn't matter about the science or whatever else the movie is hung on.

Shane Carruth is the first-time film-maker responsible for this film and he had an extraordinarily successful first outing.

Put your name on the list at the library, rent it, order it from Netflix, whatever. Jack and I will vouch for you.


Blogger Jack Thunder said...

huh-zah! glad you liked it. i wish more "science fiction" films were this good.
speaking of such films, i am very excited about D. Aronofsky's upcoming film "The Fountain."

10:06 AM  

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