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PRIMER

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This time-travel mind-bender won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature at Sundance this year, and in spite of its low, low production values it generates real buzz. Two 30-ish office guys toiling away in a garage on some ill-defined project inadvertently develop a machine that suspends time. They start messing around with it in moments stolen from their otherwise banal lives. They're baffled and exhilarated at first, then scheming and suspicious -- as each man evolves his role of manipulating time. Free of any cheesy effects, Primer is as much a psychological thriller as a sci-fi cautionary tale. Part of the film's appeal lies in its deliberate obtuseness -- from dialogue you always feel you're half overhearing, to the washed-out fluorescent-lit non-scapes, to a narrative that tasks your brain. Shane Carruth, who stars, wrote the script; he also directs, shoots, edits and scores. He must have a time machine. Squirrel Hill

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