The debut feature from filmmaker Shane Carruth – who wrote, directed, photographed, edited, scored, and stars – Primer is a psychological sci-fi thriller about a group of four tech entrepreneurs. Toiling away in a garage, the quartet have successfully created error-checking systems for their clients. But their recent work seems to have created an unexpected and seemingly impossible side-effect. Suddenly, two members of the group realize they are in possession of a device that can double, or perhaps even quadruple, the space-time continuum of anything that enters it. What at first seems like a windfall of astronomical proportions eventually proves to be much more than they bargained for, as the duo attempt to manipulate time to their financial – and emotional – benefit. Also starring Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, and Carrie Crawford, Primer premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the coveted Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film.
Shane Carruth (born 1972) is an American film writer, director, editor, producer, actor and musician.
Carruth was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University.
Carruth wrote, directed, produced, performed one of the two main roles, and composed the music for his independent film Primer, which was honored at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the Grand Jury Prize. Carruth, a former software engineer with an undergraduate degree in mathematics, utilized his technical knowledge on the project.
David Sullivan, one of the leads in Primer, claimed on his Twitter that “Shane Carruth’s next project, A Topiary, is in the early stages of pre-production.” Filmmaker Rian Johnson also posted: “Shane… has a mind-blowing sci-fi script. Let’s all pray to the movie-gods that he gets it made soon.” In 2010, several news sources reported that A Topiary is in the works, and that the script is written. There is already a website for the movie… read more
Here, a scientist who is an artist shows us the beauty of science and the consequences of invention in the human world through art. What can I say? Shane Carruth is a truly talented man. And the 'aftertaste' is even better than the film itself because I know that with every viewing I will understand the plot better and will eventually come to appreciate the film as it should be appreciated.
Much like Shane Carruth's second film, which I viewed prior to this, I found "Primer" to be ripe with confusing turns and plot points; something you ultimately have to watch multiple times to fully grasp. Regardless, as his first film, "Primer" is brilliantly photographed and has solid production and acting for a very low-budget indie film. Carruth's own disconcerting music score also adds a needed tension. Watch it.
What I like about it and what I think the point of the movie is, I think, to craft a story that you have to watch repeatedly to "get". Now if you get it all at once, then maybe you're smarter than I. Nonetheless, it's kinda like a video game you have to play many times to get through to the end and master. Only seen it twice, but I did understand more this time. I look forward to re-watching to get more.
After all of the praise I've been reading about Upstream Color, I decided to go back and check this out. Good God I was bored. Smugly satisfied with its refusal to actually attempt to do any of the old fashioned things like give us characters we could give a shit about or offer a narrative that makes a modicum of sense. Clearly I was annoyed and disappointed. An ugly looking film as well.