Thursday, February 23, 2006

PRIMER - Donnie Darko for grown-ups

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.


  1. Time machines are soooooooo 1985.

    Now, Scarlett Johansson, on the other hand...

  2. Time Machines ARE 1985! That's why people in their twenties love movies like Primer and Donnie Darko. It takes us back to our Back to the Future glory days!

  3. What about the flux capacitor?

  4. To be honest, as a physicist, I have difficulty even conceptualising what a "flux capacitor" might be. By its very defintion a capacitor involves the accumulation of charge between two plates - rather than any flux of charge between the plates.

    Given that flux is a concept, rather than a quantity, one cannot really have an accumulation of flux either - leaving us (or just me) wondering what a flux capacitor might be.

    And since everyone stopped reading this post sometime during the first sentence, I'd just like to say that I'm a Nazi who enjoys eating babies and sodomising small furry animals - and I am the mastermind behind the Tunbridge robbery.

  5. This is why all physicists get their head flushed down the toilet of life. They kill the magic.

  6. will some one get physicist with david blane please..

    that said it is obvious to the non scientific that it is preciscley this build up of variance which phases and reverberates in some kind of screaming feedback loop that on release punches through spacetime and releases the vortexworms ..who if you ask nicely will give you a ride to wherever you wish.

    its how i get to the cornershop last sunday :-)