A group of entrepreneurial tinkerers stumble upon an unintended use for their latest project – time travel!
Shane Carruth’s film is as low-fi as sci-fi gets, with a story that at times feels like a theoretical physics lecture with all manner of jargon thrown frantically upon us from the outset.
With a grainy low budget feel and look it’s hard at first to truly understand what the heck is going on in Primer as two breakaway boffins, Aaron and Abe figure out all manner of complex schedules to avoid paradoxes, causality and their other selves in a vastly complicated but fresh take on a cinema mainstay.
The central performances from novices Shane Carruth and David Sullivan are remarkably good as they deliver reams of perplexing theory and tech-speak. A noir style narration helps in trying to explain some of what goes on; depending on your take, Primer is either a genius piece of indie film-making or amateurish nonsense.
Completely puzzling, ridiculously unique and speaking in a language all its own it could be seen as being far too clever for its own good but it succeeds to rework the fundamentals of time travel in a unique way. Challenging – yes, Bamboozling – definitely, if you want to put your grey matter through a workout then look no further.
Multiple watches recommended.