Monday, September 1, 2014

The Final Post?

I think someone has accomplished what I have put down in this lengthy explanation of Primer, without all the humor and detailed explanation I yammer on in this blog. I'll have to do a condensed version (read In a Nutshell and The Granger Incident, you'll like those pages)

Here's the best way to 'get' Primer fast.

Sensational work. The ending has changed to state that Aaron called Abe when narrating.
This film was the best 'ride' ever, the Endless Summer of Primer.

I think a lot of fans are starting to see how, in the end, there are three Aarons and two Abes. But, Abe only knows of two Aarons. Abe is confident that by messing with the experiment and/or the box, he will prevent time travel. However, he is not aware of what the other two Aarons are capable of. First, Aaron can call Abe. letting him know it is possible because it already happened. The other Aaron that Abe doesn't know exists can help Abe in any number of ways, repairing the box, fixing the slide on the feed on the experiment, suggesting they build a bigger box, perhaps planting the fungus rather than telling Abe that it might be a time machine. (I know this sounds impossible, but it isn't if, and only if, Abe builds the bigger box before Aaron calls him. What happens in one timeline does not need to be repeated in other timelines.) It may seem to be a huge paradox that the future is the past already. But, that is what the Granger event proves. The future of them getting into trouble has already happened and Granger came to prevent it, or overwrite it. We haven't seen the first time through before Granger traveled back and neither have we seen the absolute truth of the first timeline. We have only seen what two of the Aarons saw, and we are missing some big chunks of that as well. Read on and enjoy.  

Thank you for over 300,000 views--Nov 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole

 I picked this timeline as worthy of recognition. Read on viewer. There's a lot to learn.

Click image above...then 'view image' then '+' to fully expand.

Here is a very good effort to draw the Primer action. It's a PDF with more detail than above.
Down in Front - Primer


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Some of you may know that Shane Carruth was one of the first to read the book version of The Primer Universe. (Actually his brother John read it first when it came in the mail.) Recently Shane spoke about visiting the Primer Universe site.

"I'm grateful that anybody who cares enough would take the time to do that. But I'm also a little bit discouraged that that seems to be the main thing that's taken away from the film – the mechanics of it."

Sorry, Shane. But the mechanics of Primer was the main discussion as it is the only thing that needs explanation. The aspects of their emotions and the effects on their relationship is important. Most people can grasp those points without my dissecting it. Others have already explored that part.
Perhaps, as it is now obvious, this is why Shane took down his forum where the following points in this book were first discussed. Answers were scrutinized and had to be firmly backed by the film itself. Shane chose not to continue to provide the answers on his site. They are all still here.

This 'blog' is the full version of the book, The Primer Universe. It is no longer available in print. The oldest page posted here is the last page of the book. I have added a few pages since this was first published. Special thanks to the UK and the Netherlands fans. How in the world do you translate, "Abe (2) finds out Aaron is actually Aaron(3)"?

'The Granger Incident' is located here: (one of the most popular pages)

Here is a link to some other thoughts on Primer. Mainly, a review of other information about Primer and the often asked question about a timeline picture floating around the internet.

This site hit 200,000 views September 1, 2013.
Thanks everyone for your links and comments.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mood Music from Primer

Simplicity is Carruth's musical theme, even in Upstream Color.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


A lot of people want to read an overview of this book first. It is long, I know. Sorry. Maybe this page will help you to decide if you want to read the whole thing.

I was asked if I could sum everything up in one page. Here goes...

Let's say that Abe invents time travel on March 1, 2001. What we would perceive as his last action in the film, is actually his first. It is backwards because this action is what Abe does in his last revisions. Abe and Aaron go back as far as they each can. It won't go back far enough for Abe because Aaron is still in control. Aaron exits the fail-safe and turns it off temporarily.

So Abe invents the box. Abe2 exits and breaks the box. He is a silent observer. He keeps a safety box in a storage unit and plans to keep Abe1 from having a working box.Abe will learn, as in the end of the film, that Aaron3 is already there.(A fail-safe that is coffin-sized is only useful for a few days at a time) Why? When Abe2 steps out of the box and breaks it, Aaron from the future (from 6 hours to four days) has already exited before him and insured that he has the upper hand. So, Abe builds the box, Aaron3 exits, Aaron2 moves to France, building a box the size of a house. Even though Aaron2 says he will never be found, there is always the opportunity for him to return(but not of course to this week as he is still building it during the events we see.). Aaron 2 returns and wrestles with himself. Thus he enters and exits, depending on your point of view. Truly brilliant of Carruth here.

He is actually, as the book brought out, Aaron2. He tells the Aaron2  that he is Aaron3 or Aaron2's future. How much Aaron3 tells Aaron2 about time travel is not stated. Hopefully, you can see why there are so many people when Abe 'first' discovers time travel in March.

What happens is that Abe2 will try to prevent Abe1's efforts but despite Abe2's relentless efforts, Abe1 builds a successful box. From his perspective, it is the first time. From Abe2's perspective, it is the second time. Abe2 is angry when he finds out that the reason Abe1 didn't give up, the reason Aaron slyly says 'You can't watch them forever', is that Aaron knew what Abe says is correct. They would give up, unless Aaron2 gives Abe1 a phone call before leaving for France. From his perspective, I think he is insuring his survival.( It seems possible that if Abe does not invent time travel again, then Aaron2may cease to exist. I wouldn't want to find out, if I was Aaron. Better safe then sorry.) If Aaron2 was calling Aaron1(instead of Abe1) then he should just say, "Here's the box and how to use it." It is much safer to create this relentless Abe1. He won't give up because he knows he can do it. And since he hasn't experienced it personally, he will not give up.

Sadly for this Abe, when he does invent time travel (now for the second time from our perspective) Aaron will still get the upper hand by taking a box and exiting and knocking himself out. Later, when Aaron3 arrives at this same point, he confronts Aaron2 and convinces him to leave, taking his place.Obviously, Aaron3 has lived these events, recorded them and gone back a day or two, so that he has the recordings, or he is lying and will record them once he replaces Aaron(2). This Aaron2 leaves or exits, leaving Aaron3 in charge to make the final revision that everyone else will remember. Thus, (thinking backwards) the airport scene of Abe and Aaron arguing, can take place as early as Monday, while our brains from watching the film, makes us think that this event is later in the week.

So which box did Aaron2 find? He found not Abe1's box, but Abe2's box. This is why Abe1 is confounded when shown the storage manifest. He didn't build that box or even know that it existed. Abe2 knows how important a fail-safe is. He just didn't realize how much it would complicate matters, especially from our viewpoint.

But, this is the end. How did they arrive at the conclusion of the film? "How?", you would ask. Let me start from the top.

Original book follows:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to type this and you’re going to read it. You’re not going to interrupt. You’re not going to speak for any reason.

Our only glimpse of the original time line is from Aaron. He tells us, as we see in a flashback, that he discovered the fact that Abe had built a fail-safe.Was that, in fact, the original time line? There is no guarantee as this is only the original time line from Aaron’s perspective.

It is possible for a large number of recurrences prior to this point. Aaron could have already been in a repeat of the original time line without knowing it at all since Abe’s use of the box would erase Aaron’s knowledge of the previous time-line. If Abe tells Aaron about his time travel and later regrets having told him, he can reset events and tell Granger about the box rather than Aaron.Abe could opt to tell no one about the box. This time line could turn out even worse than the one before it. Granger could try to steal or sell the device causing Abe to fail-safe. Again, Abe repeats the time line of telling Aaron. This time he will try to control Aaron better, preventing Aaron’s mistakes, guiding him. From Aaron’s perspective, it is the first time line. Abe would know it as the third time line.

There is a basic cause and effect cycle. Abe can tell Aaron about the time machine or he can try to keep Aaron in the dark. If keeping Aaron in the dark leads to suspicion and thus may actually cause Aaron to find the fail-safe, then Abe must start by telling Aaron. Neither Abe nor Aaron can see the entire loop bringing them back to this point because they only can ‘see’ their own time lines. If you were Abe and had the two boxes, you might even travel back in time and pretend that you still only had the Weeble-sized machine, pretend you don’t even know what the box is doing, imitate the original time line.

Did you catch the reference that things were already occurring unbeknownst to Abe and thus, to us?? The birds in the attic are no birds or rats. But something is afoul up there. The sudden shock that time travel has already unraveled and caused mayhem, hidden from even his wife. What about the interest that Abe has with Aaron's wife? Is this some dormant desire, natural protection, or growing paranoia? Then there is the seemingly insignificant ice-maker, a wonderfully crafted foreshadow.. "We have to throw the first couple of batches out." That statement should tell you that the time machine will not turn out well either. There is so much missed in the first viewing. How many times must someone watch ‘Primer’ to appreciate is simplicity and underlying complexity? How addictive a film this has proven to be.