Director Eric Schultz| 2021 | 96 mins | Sci-Fi/Thriller | US | English
World Premiere – Fantasia Film Festival 2020
Official Selection – Sitges Film Festival 2020
Ethan Kochar is a young neuroscientist, whose brilliance is overshadowed by the legacy of his father, Dr. Paul Kochar. Following his father’s death, Ethan recedes into his basement laboratory to complete his R10 machine, an invention designed to go beyond recording memories, as his father’s machine did, and push the limits of brain capture to their zenith – true consciousness control.
Facing funding pressure from Department Chair, Dr. Malcolm Blume, Ethan utilizes an apparent missing link – an equation in a mysterious notebook, seemingly from his late father – and turns the experiment on himself. The experiment doesn’t go as intended.
Rather than isolate his intelligence, Ethan fragments his consciousness into ten emotional states, each in their own timeline. Every hour the cycle of behaviors resets, giving Ethan six minutes at a time to piece together what’s happening and work toward a solution.
Central to Ethan’s efforts is his estranged girlfriend and academic colleague Dr. Alli Fisher. Though wary of her motivations, Ethan is forced to rely on Alli’s help, as her insights become integral to ensuring Ethan’s consciousness is not overwritten.
The botched experiment allows Ethan to deal with the regret he feels towards his relationship with Alli, his bitterness for his father, and his own self-loathing. The episode is not only a journey to a restored consciousness, but hopefully, a path by which Ethan can achieve some level of personal catharsis.
With a focus on scientific authenticity and cutting edge neurological theory, Premise is a grounded, science-based thriller drama, which also becomes a poignant and emotional reflection on our mind’s fragility and what constructs our sense of Self.
ROTTEN TOMATOES CERTIFIED FRESH!
“ONE OF THE BEST SCI-FILMS OF THE LAST FEW YEARS.”
“IN THE VEIN OF PRIMER, PI, AND MEMENTO, MINOR PREMISE IS A MAJOR MIND MAZE.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES
“A FINELY-CRAFTED PUZZLE BOX THAT SPEAKS AS MUCH TO THE HEART AND THE HEAD.”
– THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE
“THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST NEW ENTRIES IN SCI-FI CINEMA WE’VE SEEN OVER THE LAST YEAR.”
– UNDER THE RADAR
“UNLIKE NOLAN’S EMOTIONALLY DEFICIENT BEHEMOTHS, SCHULTZ’S SCRAPPY GEM FIRES UP THE HEART AS WELL AS THE BRAIN.”
– THE MERCURY NEWS
“IT ASKS US TO SUSPEND DISBELIEF IN ORDER TO WORK THROUGH SOME CONCEPTS ABOUT MEMORY AND IDENTITY THAT REAL SCIENTISTS SPEND THEIR LIVES ON. HAPPILY, IT NEVER FEELS LIKE HOMEWORK.”
– THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“MINOR PREMISE IS ACTUALLY THE VERSION OF PRIMER THAT WORKS.”
– FILM FREAK CENTRAL
“A MASTERCLASS OF HOW TO MAKE AN ENTHRALLING GENRE MOVIE ON A LOW BUDGET… A MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT.”
– BACKSEAT MAFIA
“A TENSE, ENGROSSING RIDE. A KIND OF MEMENTO/INCEPTION LOVECHILD… A POWERFUL SHOWCASE FOR SATHYA SRIDHARAN.”
– THE PLAYLIST
“AN EMOTIONAL WALLOP [AND] A STUNNING SLICE OF SCI-FI CINEMA.”
– DAILY DEAD
“WITH ITS STIRRING LEAD PERFORMANCE AND TICKING CLOCK, THIS MODEST THRILLER IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT.”
– WASHINGTON CITY PAPER
“A BRILLIANTLY CONSTRUCTED SCIENCE-FICTION DRAMA THAT RESONATES WITH PARTICULAR POIGNANCY IN OUR QUASI-QUARANTINED TIMES.”
– JUSTIN LANGLOIS
“A NOLANESQUE DIVE INTO THE FOG OF MEMORY AND DECEPTION THEREIN THAT CHALLENGES AND ENTERTAINS.”
– HORROR BUZZ
“MIND BENDING AND TRIPPY, THE STORY HAS THE TYPE OF HEART THAT SIMILAR MOVIES IN THE GENRE STRAIN FOR AND FAIL TO ACHIEVE.”
“A LITERAL MIND-MELT… THE MAD SCIENTIST IS A FAMILIAR TYPE IN GENRE CINEMA, BUT FEW FILMS GET INSIDE THE LOW IMPULSES AND HIGHER DRIVES OF THIS FIGURE QUITE LIKE MINOR PREMISE.”
– SIGHT AND SOUND
“POUNDS THE SENSES WITH A THROBBING HEART AT ITS VERY CENTER.”
– B-SIDES AND BADLANDS
“SCHULTZ DEMONSTRATES THAT HE HAS MUCH ON HIS MIND AS A FILMMAKER AND WILL BE ONE TO FOLLOW WHEN THE OFFERS TRICKLE IN (WHICH THEY SHOULD) AFTER MINOR PREMISE.”
– FILM THREAT
“A STIRRING AND COMPELLING DIRECTORIAL DEBUT… SRIDHARAN IS UTTERLY TREMENDOUS AND DEARLY CAPTIVATING THROUGHOUT.”
“A DELIGHTFUL CRONENBERG/NOLAN MASH-UP.”
– 366 WEIRD MOVIES
“I FREAKING LOVED MINOR PREMISE.”
– THAT SHELF
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