Hello, friends in time, and welcome to a regular feature on Cinema 52 where I put my weekly viewing of Back to the Future on hold and watch another movie featuring time travel for comparison. It may not keep me sane, but it will probably always involve one guy shouting, “This doesn’t make any sense!” And that’s good enough for me.

PRIMER (2004)

Primer is about…

(In order not to interact with my own knowledge of the film, I’ve decided to avoid the duplicate of me that has already looked up the plot synopsis on Wikipedia.)

THE STORY:

THE ACTING:

THE SPECIAL EFFECTS:

OTHER STUFF:

  • This movie was supposedly made on just $7000, and most of it went to film stock. I assume the rest was brought back in time and spent on lottery tickets.
  • My parents barely understand how Bill & Ted rules work. I now sympathize with them.

THE “NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!” MOMENT:
A good portion of the film’s dialogue falls under this category. The two leads, Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan), are always discussing whether or not various time travel scenarios are possible. Half of them are plot spoilers and the other half are just too enjoyable to give away, so here’s something they talk about while gassing up.

“Look, Abe, look, I’m not going to pretend like I know anything, okay, about paradoxes, you know, or what follows them. And, honestly, I really don’t believe in any of that crap anyways. I mean, kill your mom before you’re born, whatever. It must work itself out, somehow.”

FINAL THOUGHTS:
You really need to see Primer. You really do. No, I don’t completely understand it. A day after watching it, some of it is clicking in my brain. I think. When it ended, I wanted to watch it again. This would be a movie to watch 52 times. I could nit-pick on certain parts that seem to be plot conveniences or the result of having practically no budget, but these things don’t matter. It’s intriguing, it’s surprising, the two leads are believable and engaging as both engineers and friends, and it’s only 77 minutes. You should be watching it right now.

Okay, I will now activate the Wikipedia plot summary. Shield your eyes.

WAIT, WHAT IF I’M THE ONE EDITING WIKIPEDIA?
Still don’t get it. I feel like I should watch Primer for next week’s article as well. No, I can’t, this would create interference with the Back to the Future cycle. I’m triggering the Primer failsafe.

NEXT WEEK:
Black Knight (2001)

Want more time travel? Head on over to the Time Out archive.