Thoughts on Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004) by William Eddingtackle

“They took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more,” says the narrator of Shane Carruth’s fiendishly knotty debut, pairing words that mythologise the film’s accidental (time) tourists Aaron (Carruth himself) and Abe (David Sullivan) with a deadened electronic tone that flatpacks their experience into drudge. It’s a fair summary of Carruth’s extraordinary achievement – having written, directed, designed, shot, scored and starred in this $4,000 Sundance winner, he has as good a claim as any towards legitimate auteurship. As underlined by an anecdote about NASA’s failed attempts to create a pen that writes in zero gravity (the Soviets used pencils), this is the science, and the cinema, of found things, awesome ideas stumbled upon by Read More

Hasta La Vista, Lady: Is Sarah Connor a Female Action Hero?

Any film which includes a woman suddenly busting out a roundhouse kick or making a withering remark about penis size risks getting hailed as a beacon of feminism, even if her character is otherwise paper-thin or disposable. Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton in the first two movies in the Terminator franchise, is sometimes held up alongside Ripley from Aliens and GI Jane as an example of a female action hero. But is the fact that ‘there’s a woman in it and she kicks some ass’ really enough? At first blush, it doesn’t seem that Sarah Connor has any of the qualities you’d expect of an action hero. Her value lies not in what she herself is going to do, Read More