Primer (1/10)

by Tony Medley

If this had been in Greek and Swahili without subtitles it couldn’t have been more incomprehensible. Acclaimed that it was made on a budget of $7,000, one wonders why it cost so much.

Written, Produced, and Directed by Shane Carruth, who also plays the lead, it is lauded as having won the “Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for advancing science and technology in film.” When I questioned the PR person about such a film winning an award, she responded that it didn’t win the award for the quality of the film but for the fact that it was made on such a small budget. If they’re going to give an award solely on that basis, they should call it the Chutzpah Prize. Alfred P. Sloan ran General Motors back in the ‘20s and ‘30s. If he knew his name was on a prize awarded to such an unfathomable, scientifically indefensible film, he would turn over in his grave.

I don’t have a clue what this film is about. Apparently two guys, Aaron (Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan; David Sullivan? Playing a guy named Abe?), are engineers who work in their spare time on something in a garage. Apparently that something does something. Eventually I figured out that what it did was create a clone, but that was never made clear.

Also, Aaron and Abe invest in the stock market in stocks of which they’ve never heard and apparently make a lot of money, but it’s never explained why this can happen. Apparently what they made in their garage enables them to time travel, but that’s certainly never even mentioned that I heard.

Aaron’s got a wife. I think her name was Kara and that she’s played by Carrie Crawford. Her job is to walk around the house looking like a wife.

On top of it all is the relationship and dialogue between Aaron and Abe. The relationship is unrealistic, if not inscrutable, and the dialogue sounds like it came from a 4th grade English class.

Frankly, I don’t care if Carruth made this film on $7,000. As far as I’m concerned, it was $7,000 that would have been better spent buying ice cream. You will rarely spend 80 more excruciating minutes. I find it offensive that anyone would put a film as poor as this out into distribution channels and advertise it as something that someone might find entertaining.

September 30, 2004

The End