Primer by way of Upstream Color

It’s big here at the O2, formerly known as the Millennium Dome.
I’m sitting at the Sky Superscreen bar, inside Cineworld. The place is filled with volunteers in yellow hoodies, but barely any filmgoer.
I’m waiting to see Upstream Color, Shane Carruth’s somophore mind job.
NOTE: SPOILERS for Primer, but not for Upstream Color
 primer_film_3810
Primer’s moment of clarity, when everything you thought you knew is revealed to be a lie, and ultimately its moment of darkness, managed to switch the entire movie around without telling you everything. I still have doubts about the plot, timelines and plot guides non withstanding my questioning nature.
When someone invents a time machine from a box, it’s great. But when that person makes another box and puts one inside the other in order to go forward faster, you know you’re watching the work of a genius.
There’s a Calvin and Hobbes quality to Primer’s devices of time displacement, the product of bored engineers rather than the realisation of life long dreams.
They are exactly like Calvin’s time travelling cardboard box. While the Delorean was a stylish, pretty much hassle free way of time surfing (besides power), the Primer boxes make you sick and disoriented and long travels will drive you mad.
Carruth’s character isn’t as friendly to his other selves as McFly, willing to put them to sleep and lock them away in his house. The earpieces are simple ways of delivering dialogue pre recorded from another time, attempting to fix a wrong with no one noticing.
The grand final design of a gigantic warehouse box is the culmination of the device’s over engineering. What’s better than a small time travelling box? A big time travelling box.
There’s similarities with the poorly named Hackers 2: Takedown, where a disenfranchised Mitkin abandons his wife, who begins dating his best friend, in favor of pursuing his hacking exploits.
So too does Shane’s character, whose name is so inconsequential to the plot I can’t remember it, abandon his wife in order to further travel through time.
So it’s somewhat of a surprise that Upstream Color’s theme is love.
Primer’s diminutive budget allowed it to forego whatever  special effects, using instead different color palettes to express different moods. Blinding white was time travel, yellow tones marked the conversations between the two main characters.
Primer is almost like a reverse Memento. You know everything about the plot until it turns out you don’t.
I wondered about the crowd that came to see Upstream. Had they seen Primer for sure?
Was it random? Do they just do Sundance movies?
Big turn out for the movie, I’m surprised.
What a gigantic screen!
Upstream-Color-Still1-AmySeimetz-ShaneCarruth
//And then I saw Upstream Color
It’s a feat. Thanks Shane.
Still very difficult to put into words my feelings about Upstream. It must be seen.
Advertisements