Thursday, October 28, 2004

Primer Directed by Shane Carruth

It seems almost puerile to reduce a film to its budget, as if one were a child staring in awe at either a flea or an elephant – marveled by the size of both. Yet I completely understand how many do that very thing with Primer (whose budget is decidedly of the flea type - $7000.) Primer is a difficult film to write about. In my opinion, outside of the complete bafflement that one feels after seeing the film, one can choose to write about its production mechanics (aforementioned budget, freshman director, guerrilla methods), its labyrinthine storyline (which leads to a didactic plot analysis – which is nigh impossible to do right with this film), or its thematic elements. For emphasis, I restate: Primer is a difficult film to write about. Therefore, I can hardly discredit those who harp on its budget because, frankly, it is the most apparent aspect of the film to write about while still conveying a sense of What It Is. Forgive my failures ahead of time, but I will try to avoid further discussion re: the fiscal allowance of Carruth and Co.

Basic plot summary: four guys (late-20’s) are working on some type of invention (computer cards of some sort, + various other projects) in a garage. Two of them, Abe and Aaron stumble upon an invention that provokes their interest far more than the get-rich-quick ideas they had been working on. Namely, a variant on the venerated time machine. Naturally – because, let’s face it, we will never have a complete handle on causality if/until an actual time machine is invented, and even then, not until after some heavy tinkering - various situations of general turmoil occur. Within this extremely puzzling framework, Carruth, by his own admission, fleshes out a theme that aims right at the heart of today’s greed-driven society – trust. Specifically, Primer deals with the inverse relationship between the level of trust and the value of what is riding on that trust. He leads the viewer to this conclusion: absolute power corrupts absolutely. If one has the power to travel back in time, one has the power to amass an incredible amount of money (via, to use an example from the film, the stock market) and to alter the events of the future/present in one’s favor. Abe and Aaron are, as the film enforces time and again, close friends. They begin the trust break cycle by excluding the two other garage inventors once they realize what they have. Why split 4 ways what can just as easily be split in 2? The trust is further shattered when both Abe and Aaron decide that half is not enough.

This sentiment seems bitterly apropos in a society where the primary focal point is gain at any cost. Enron, Martha Stewart, et al is one thing – we are now at a place where corporate distrust is expected – but the dissemination of greed and distrust into populous society is another thing entirely. Even our entertainment - Survivor, The Mole, et cetera - is focused on greed and distrust. Add to this boiling cauldron ludicrous preemptive lawsuits, the necessity for a prenuptial agreement, and the popular opinion of any person in power, and it seems that Primer is a film perfectly positioned in time and place.


Blogger nope said...


I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family

Web Detective - Investigate Anyone Using the Internet

Spyware Cleaner

Discover The Unrevealed Secrets That Casino Owners Are Hiding From You And Learn How To Start Making A Minimum of $1000 Every Time You Play The Slot Machines

12 October, 2005 01:27  
Blogger Admin said...

Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
Disney World

13 October, 2005 22:22  

Post a Comment

<< Home