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PRIMER (2004) + Short WHEN DID TIME TRAVEL COME FROM? - Sci-Fi Sundays


£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 3:00pm


PRIMER (2004) - 3:45PM

Welcome to Sci-Fi Sundays at Deptford Cinema. Join us for an afternoon movie on the last Sunday of the month. With quarterly themes, our 2018/2019 programme delves into wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, Earthly welcomes, post-Earths, new flesh and everything in between when it comes to our favourite Science Fiction cinema.

Alongside each screening we’ve organised a little something extra; quizzes, short-films, panel discussions and much more.

Our first theme is TIME, a staple of science fiction that had us struggling to narrow down a huge list of great time travel films.

dir. Shane Carruth

year. 2004

country. USA

run-time. 77min

rating. 12


Aaron and Abe are two suits who accidently create a time machine in their garage. Working round the clock for a faceless tech company, they research levitation as a potential money-making venture in their spare time. As their research progresses and they develop their device, they stumble across some surprising side effects, ultimately creating a functioning time machine. Once the pair start to use the device both opportunities and problems arise, exposing differences in the friends’ personalities and vision, posing risks for the two friends and their friendship.

Legendary for its tiny budget and lo-fi feel, 2004’s Primer is technical, detailed and hyper-realistic. A world away from sleek big budget sci-fi Primer is shot in a range of colourless, badly lit locations including boxy kitchens, cluttered garages and an anonymous storage facility. Where other time travel films feature bold, theoretical constructions such as wormholes and faster-than-light space travel (or otherwise rely on unarticulated mechanisms of magic to move their protagonists backwards and forwards through time) Primer’s focus is on the mechanics of the time travel machine itself – ‘the box’ - as a practical feat of engineering and construction, and side effect of scientific innovation. In a similar way, Primer does not present time travel as a slick, futuristic enterprise – moving backwards through time in Primer is claustrophobic, time-consuming and bad for your health (as well as for your relationships).

The most distinctive feature of the film though remains it’s famously complex plot, which has spawned a wealth of explanatory diagrams and Youtube videos. A film that really rewards repeat viewings in order to fully unravel the plot, director Shane Carruth refused to simplify his film, creating a genuinely original piece of work, and a Sundance Grand Jury winner, in the process.



Accompanying the feature we also have a short video essay from The Nerdwriter explaining the history of Time Travel fiction.