Friday, May 12, 2006

Primer not Prime


A few posts ago I wrote about the latest 'chic flick' called Prime (a film I would be seen dead watching, thank you). But I did see an interesting film a couple of evenings ago on DVD called 'Primer'.

As I'm getting increasingly bored with the standard Hollywood fare I tend to seek out more obscure films these days. Particularly Science fiction ones. Primer is an independently made film about a couple of men who invent a time machine. Its not your usual, dramatic movie time machine, its a device about as big as a large fridge, which they eventually crawl into for a while, and travel back in time several hours. This allows them to start betting on sporting events and making stock market trades. But it also means that when they come out of the devices, they have to hide themselves in a hotel room as they have to avoid bumping into their doubles (who are still in the present).

The film goes against the typical rules of cinema - the story is driven almost totally by dialogue (whereas in the best films the storytelling is mainly visual), there's no real emotion in the film, no tension, no passion, and there are no memorable scenes. Apparently the film was shot for only a few thousand dollars, which is pretty amazing as the cinematography looks very good. If you like complex, cerebral films that you have to analyze in order to understand, then this may be a good alternative to the mainstream trash of the multiplexes.

4 comments:

Duncan Idaho said...

Sounds like an interesting movie.

I saw another low-key time-travel related movie recently, called "Jacket." It's about a former soldier who suffers blackouts and, after being convicted of a crime that he can't recall committing, he is certified insane and sent to an asylum. There he is subject to some demented therapy whereby he is put in a straitjacket and locked in a mortuary drawer in the hope that he can recover some memories with sensory deprivation. As it turns out, each time he is put in the drawer, he finds himself 15-years in the future, wandering around town and encountering people who used to know him who insist he died years ago.

Interesting film, worth checking out. Better than all the chick-flick romantic-comedy shit that's out there today.

Darren Blacksmith said...

That one sounds good. I'm not sure I'd rate Primer as good. Depending on how you look at it, it could be seen as boring. But its certainly different.

I find time travel to be a fascinating subject.

Duncan Idaho said...

I still love the Bill & Ted movies, the way they make a mockery of traditional science fiction's approach to time travel:

Bill: Can we get your dad's keys?
Ted: Could steal them but he lost them two days ago.
Bill: If only we could go back in time to when he had them and steal them then.
Ted: Well, why can't we?
Bill: Cause we don't got time.
Ted: We could do it after the report.
Bill: Ted, good thinking dude. After the report we'll time travel back to two days ago, steal your dad's keys, and leave them here.
Ted: Where?
Bill: I don't know. How about behind that sign? That way when we get here now, they'll be waiting for us. (bends down and picks up the keys) See?

(Credit where it's due, I refreshed my memory of that scene here.)

Sir Jessy of Anti said...

I liked primer. I missed a bit of the movie and ended up loosing out on a lot of the plot, though. That's the trouble with these types of dialogue centric flicks. Otherwise I thought the idea was pretty neat, and the ending was not bad.