Shane Carruth’s latest film to make your brain explode

Engineer-turned-director Shane Carruth has long been working on the follow up project to his mind-melting time travel flick Primer. Thanks to The Playlist, we now know what his next film is about! Kinda!

The Playlist got a hold of Carruth’s screenplay A Topiary, which sounds as infuriating and complex as his feature film debut. Consider the following summary somewhat spoilerific.

The script begins with a head-scratching thirty minute prologue involving Acre Stowe, a municipal worker of an undisclosed city in the 1980s. Carruth notes that scenes change at a pace of thirty to forty seconds each and that this part of the film is paced somewhat like a combination of a conventional film and a “previously on” segment of a TV show. With the prologue spanning over eight years (it seems that Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York” may be an apt comparison in terms of pacing), we can’t imagine that it’ll be an easy follow for audiences (though there is no reason to expect that it would be). Acre begins his journey investigating strange starbursts he sees in the sky and eventually meets up with a group of people who are also researching this phenomenon and its consequences, amongst other scientific projects ranging in subject from thermochemistry to archaeology.

The main story, at first ambiguous in its relation to the prologue, revolves around ten boys aged seven to eleven living in a small rural town (Carruth is ambiguous in both location and time here) and takes up the remaining two hours of the film. The boys are in possession of a mysterious black box called a “Maker,” which in turn creates mysterious white discs called “funnels.” The group of kids are at once puzzled and fascinated by the nature of the box, and eventually manipulate the discs into other peculiarly named artifacts (petals, arcs, fronds, etc.). Their creations and constructions lead up to their manufacturing of seemingly sentient quasi-mechanical beings dubbed “Choruses.” Almost as if ‘Topiary’ were an abstract arthouse take on Pokémon, you can imagine the competition and troubles the beings create amongst the children.

Head on over to The Playlist to read more about Carruth’s project.

A mysterious website has been established for A Topiary, but it features nothing but the following sentence: Over and over you have been promised adventure, but have not found it.

So yeah! There you go. No further details on when we will see A Topiary on screens, or whether or not Carruth will fund it privately as he did the $7,000 Primer (although this synopsis sounds a little more expensive).

In the meantime, make sure that you check out Primer, at least five times. The joy of discovering that film is going into it completely blind, so you won’t hear any plot summary from me.

Discuss: Your thoughts on Primer?

One Response to “Shane Carruth’s latest film to make your brain explode”

  1. I've seen Primer at least 5 times and I really love it. It kept me guessing and second guessing, and even third guessing every time I watch it. I enjoy it unfolding and having new revelations each time I watch it. I also enjoy thinking about how the characters have developed with each new understanding the watching brings. It's quite a dynamic film because it it's time line complexity.I'm quite keen to see whatever film Carruth does next.

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