PRIMER is a tricksy little movie, now available on DVD. Think of it as Donnie Darko for adults. What, you haven't seen Donnie Darko?! Okay, let me break it down for you. PRIMER features a couple of sci-tech geeks who spend their free-time cooking up cool gadgets with an eye on coining in the proverbial phat cash with a patent. Instead of creating a fridge they manage to create a time-machine! (Seriously, that shit happens to *my* scientist friends all the time.) So they do what every self-respecting capitalist bastard would do: they go back in time to gamble on the stock market. Of course, one of the two gets intoxicated on the power that time travel gives him over other people's lives and starts getting all uppity, and the other one tries to stop him, and you end up with all sorts of duplicate people running around town in bad suits. What's to like about this flick? It looks and sounds slick despite the fact that it was made for about fifty squid. The ideas, if not original, are passed off with conviction and credibility. So far this year, I have had to believe Gwyneth Paltrow as a genius Mathmo, and Jennifer Aniston as a seductress. Believe me, these boys actually make it look, well, real, when they talk about physics. (In fairness, I know nothing of science and I am sure the film looks shaky if you actually know math.) Anyways, this is a cool thriller - messes with your head a bit, makes you think, freaks you out - and gets you safely home after 83 minutes. You can't say fairer than that. And if you still don't understand the plot after listening to the Director's Commentary, some cine-geek with even more time on his hands than me has drawn up a handy wall-chart! I kid you not - all answers are to be found here.
PRIMER hit the big time at Sundance 2004, went on limited release in the UK in September 2005 and is now available on Region 2 DVD.