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PRIMER

Shane Carruthís tightly wound conundrum requires more than one viewing to follow, but I havenít decided whether Iíll be accepting that invitation. For one thing, itís not very easy on the eyes or the ears: set mostly in a garage and an industrial park, and edited with jarring jump cuts and ellipses, the dialogue overlapping à la Robert Altman, Primer doesnít make the job of comprehension especially pleasant. A group of young entrepreneurial engineers are developing some new invention, but they arenít sure what it is or what it does or what its application might be. Is it an anti-gravitational device? A fungus incubator? A time machine? Eventually, two of the team discover a function that affords them virtual omnipotence but with grave existential and metaphysical consequences. A Back to the Future without special effects or a Donnie Darko without innocence, Primer is the minimalist 2001 for the postĖBill Gates generation. (78 minutes)

BY PETER KEOUGH

Issue Date: October 15 - 21, 2004
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