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November 01, 2004

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This was actually shot on Super 16 mm then converted to digital for editing. From what I understand, any grain is a result of the transfer process, independent of the filmmakers. In fact the whole budget comes in under 7K.

As far as the jargon goes, it can be dense but certainly not impentetratable. For me, the movie works because so much of the narrative form mirrors the characters own fragmented temporal disconnect.

Then again, you might enjoy films that spoon-feed you, wheras I do not.

Thanks for the info about the film transfer, though it doesn't change the fact that the film itself is ugly as sin.

And I love many films that don't "spoon-feed me." What I don't like are turgid, pretentious science fiction films like Primer.

Time travel is impossible, which is why most movies on the subject have to be giddy, fun, and fantastical - to entertain and amuse an audience who knows going in that the filmmaker is trying to sell them on something that is impossible. I think that Carruth made Primer to demonstrate that if time travel were possible, it probably wouldn't involve a fun spin around the parking lot in a DeLorean. It would probably be monotonous and make you feel like you wanted to puke afterwards. Because why should screwing around with the space time continuum "feel" normal anyway? And another thing, what the heck would you REALLY do if you could move through the past multiple times?? As Carruth's character Aaron realizes, knowing how basketball games are going to turn out gets pretty old after a while. What really matters are real people in real situations - like crazed gunmen showing up at a party to terrorize the guests. What would you do if you knew that was going to happen? How would you prevent it? Would you want recognition for playing "the hero"? After an hour of fiddling around in a garage calculating argon to oxygen ratios, the whole story really comes down that: with the most powerful tool ever conceived at their disposal, all they can think to do is impress girls and make themselves look tough in front of other guys...I wasn't particularly satisfied with the ending: the dissolution of their friendship, Aaron abandoning his family to build a room-size machine in France while Abe stays behind and monitors Aaron's double...? I didn't get it. And I still don't know how many Abes and Aarons were left running around. But as with the rest of the film - an unlike most films - the audience is not in on any of it, merely a fly on the wall, catching pieces of conversations. And, frankly, I enjoyed that. It made me feel good. Unfortunately, I think that most people who disliked Primer get so caught up in the fact that they don't understand people talking about physics (so what? who does?) and that ends up making them hate the movie because they didn't "get it". I am comfortable enough with myself to realize that I don't have to understand how the Eiffel Tower manages to stand up on itself to appreciate that it is the most beautiful man-made structure I've ever seen. What else is there to get other than what I think most of us already know: attempting to affect outcomes that have already happened is probably a stupid idea. As human beings we will never be satisfied with decisions that we have made if we were actually able to go back and do them over and over again. Done. End of Physics lesson. Was that so painful?

Why should a film maker dumb down a movie simply for its audience? The script and choice of words only make it more realistic.

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