Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Primer 2003

Directed by Shane Carruth

USA In English
78 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay, Editor, Music


Anand Upadhyaya
Daniel Bueche


Shane Carruth
David Sullivan
Casey Gooden
Anand Upadhyaya
Carrie Crawford


Sundance 2004


Best Film (Drama), Sundance 2004


A virtuoso display of minimalist filmmaking and exceptional thinking, Primer is a perfect example of how budget constraints force filmmakers to concentrate on areas that studio films usually neglect, ie the story and dialogue. Primer is an antidote to dumbed-down cinema. Already being compared favourably to the indie smash π, this ultra-low-fi thriller won gold at the Sundance Film Festival and is being hailed as a milestone in independent filmmaking. Four physicists and programmers gather together at night to brainstorm and tinker on a very unusual secret project. Their contraption could be the next big thing. They know it could make them very rich. They know it could be a substantial breakthrough in science. They just don’t understand exactly what the thing is. When one of the four men discovers that the project actually causes fluctuations in the space-time continuum, Primer takes a dark spin into quantum physics and becomes one of the most devilishly inventive and thought-provoking films in recent memory. — Ant Timpson