Into the Woods

Shane Carruth takes moviemaking back to the basics

Sarah Wilmer for TIME

Carruth's first film captured the paranoia of time travel. Now he's back with a meditation on identity, nature and Thoreau's Walden.

There are Independent filmmakers, and then there is Shane Carruth. In 2001, Carruth quit working as a software engineer and began making a movie from a screenplay he'd written himself. Not yet 30, he had never finished a script before, or shot a movie, or acted in one. But an idea had taken hold, and Carruth--who immersed himself in oblique 1970s films like All the President's Men and The Conversation while he was laid up after a car accident--needed to make it into a film.

The result was Primer, a mind-bending, meticulously plotted time-travel story set in the world of Dallas...

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