This post contains no spoilers.
I rewatched Primer this week. I had seen it a couple years ago as one of the first movies I got from Netflix the first time I signed up. It was a successful recommendation. Since I was a kid, I have been totally intrigued with time travel and time travel movies. Time travel movies rank among my favorite films, like 12 Monkeys, Time Bandits, the Butterfly Effect, etc. Time travel books are great too, like The Time Traveler’s Wife. Thinking about the implications of being able to change things — and what happens when you do — filled many teenage hours. An important part of my fascination then is resolving the conflicts inherent in time travel. What happens if you change something in the past? What are the rules in the movie or book? Does the movie/book adhere to its own rules or do they screw up?
Primer is a time travel movie in a league of its own. I think it’s pretty much impossible to fully grasp the first time through. It is probably the most confusing movie I have ever seen (that is not “absurd” anyway). It’s been bumping around in my head for the past couple years, driving me to see it again. Mike D’Angelo in Esquire said it’s like “following the path of one blade on a high-speed ceiling fan.” That’s a fairly accurate description.