Science on Screen: Primer (2004)

  • dir. Shane Carruth 77 min.

    Tuesday, March 27 7:00PM

    Marigny Opera House

  • 725 St. Ferdinand
  • New Orleans, LA 70117
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  • Pricing Information
  • Free and open to the public

  • Synopsis
  • Engineers Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) spend their off-work hours creating with their own entrepreneurial tech projects, developing elaborate experiments in Aaron’s garage. When one experiments yields results that indicate they’ve discovered a time loop, Abe creates a human-sized version and discovers the process is safe for human time travel. Although they set up parameters for how they should use the device, Aaron and Abe soon diverge in their morality and timelines begin to converge and blur. Setting into motion unstoppable changes to space and time, the two men alter their live irrevocably, with potentially catastrophic outcomes.

    Carruth’s intricate, compelling debut film exhibits a quietly unsettling vision of time travel, complicating the relationship between scientific drive and moral responsibility. Shot on Super 16mm, the film’s grainy, desaturated look provides a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere, and Carruth’s original score pairs well in setting the tone of disruption. Primer was the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize and Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

    The screening will be followed by an introduction to nonlinearity and chaos and a Q&A with Dr. Lev Kaplan of Tulane University. Dr. Lev Kaplan is chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at Tulane University. Lev earned his undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University in 1996, specializing in particle theory. Subsequently, he served as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and as national Institute for Nuclear Theory Fellow at the University of Washington. Lev joined the faculty of Tulane University in 2003 and leads the Quantum and Wave Chaos research group. His recent research interests range from Casimir energy to quantum information, and from transport in nanostructures to the statistics of extreme ocean waves.

    Science on Screen® at Shotgun Cinema is made possible through a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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