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Primate (1974) online

Primate (1974) online
Original Title :
Primate
Genre :
Movie / Documentary
Year :
1974
Directror :
Frederick Wiseman
Type :
Movie
Time :
1h 45min
Rating :
7.5/10

This film casts a forensic observational eye over researchers working with primates. After a time watching it is possible to wonder which ones of these two sets of primates is the more strange.

Primate (1974) online

Title: Primate (1974). Show more on IMDbPro .

A representative scientist explains the aims and outcomes of the organisation, describing the mating habits and relationships of the animals. We don't have any cast information just yet. Recommended Movies.

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The winner of the Miss World Virginity contest marries, escapes from her masochistic husband and ends up involved in a world of debauchery. Videos 1. Backdrops 11. Posters 7. Recommendations.

Also Known As: Passionate. Title: Appassionata (1974). Added on: February 22nd, 2019. House of Tolerance (2011). As Taras de Um Minivampiro (1987).

The year 1974 in film involved some significant events. Highest-grossing films (.

This film casts a forensic observational eye over researchers working with primates. After a time watching it is possible to wonder which ones of these two sets of primates is the more strange.


User reviews

Falya

Falya

Typically horrifying Frederick Wiseman documentary about experiments at a primate research laboratory where chimps and apes and monkeys are subjected to bizarre and inhumane testing. Wiseman (probably the greatest documentary filmmaker who ever lived) is something of a magician when it comes to snagging jaw-dropping "moments" that will have squeamish viewers quickly reaching for the remote. Much footage here (as with many of Wiseman's films) still would be censored from most cable programs.

We get to see these poor creatures subjected to intelligence tests, gravity tests, muscle stimulation tests, and (bafflingly) a veritable thesaurus of sexual function/dysfuction tests. A few talking head interviews with the researchers as they babble loftily and (at times) incoherently. Part of the genius of Frederick Wiseman is his gift for showing things from beginning to end, undiluted to spare the audience's feelings. One sequence shows a small, very confused monkey being taken from its cage and strapped into what can only be described as a tiny version of an inquisition rack then wheeled through a series of rooms, only to be (literally) sliced and diced and cracked into tiny pieces then stuffed into a dozen jars by a guy who speaks to the camera with the blase attitude of a man chopping carrots. Wiseman's camera doesn't even leer at this. I've seen some graphic mondo footage but I was unable to view this sequence and had to cover my eyes. Truly, almost as nauseating as the torture inflicted on the primates is the desensitized nature of the hippie scientists doing the testing. Scene after scene unfolds with chimps and monkeys being flayed and sent through living hell as the researchers act with minds that seem curiously elsewhere and detached. It makes one wonder if working at such a place for too long would engender this kind of thinking.

As another reviewer noted, Wiseman's camera is "absent" but certainly not unbiased. This film is a scream of rage at the establishment firmly rooted in the counter-culture born of the 1960s.
Fearlesshunter

Fearlesshunter

In this film the direct cinema legend, Frederick Wiseman, visits and observes the daily activities that take place at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia. "Scientists in the film are concerned with studying the physical and mental development of primates. Some of the experimental work shown in the film deals with the capacity to learn, remember, and apply language and manual skills; the effect of alcohol and drugs on behavior; the control of aggressive and sexual behavior; and other neural and physiological determinants of behavior." (from www.zipporah.com) Wiseman begins by showing us the great apes- orangutans and chimpanzees- that are caged in prison like cells, often looking saddened and depressed. Most of the reviews I have read on this film focus on the goals and accomplishments that the scientists have achieved by studying these monkeys and apes. Watching this, I personally feel that Wiseman is attempting to make us question the ethics of this practice. Animal studies, especially those on primates that are genetically similar to ourselves, have become (for the most part) an accepted and ignored element of society. It is believed that the benefits of such a practice far outweigh the gains, but some of the images in this film make you question this. This is what I believe that Wiseman was trying to achieve- similar to his portrayal of the Bridgewater Mental Facility in his film "Titticut Follies". Many images in this film are disturbing...just a warning. This could be viewed as much of an animal rights documentary as could "Meat", but can also be seen as the observation of justified scientific studies on primates. I guess it depends on how you look at it, but regardless of this, Wiseman's editing is not unbiased. The mere selectivity of images and order of their juxtaposition is used to convey his message despite the observational/direct cinema nature of the film. Another winner by Wiseman.
Unde

Unde

Hello, I've just seen this doc on TV and I feel really bad. Sadists in disguise of scientists. No ethic no compassion no respect, their will of power overall. The usefulness of uselessness is their dogma in the name of a claimed scientific progress. Let's cut them, torture them, abuse them who knows? maybe something pop out! Shame on them. I hope cruelty on animals will be one day only a bad memory of the past and more enlightened scientists in our future. Please let me hope no man can do what I saw and sleep well at night.they must have the courage to say no! There are other ways. ruthless science is unjustifiable.wiseman is a great and brave filmmaker. We need more like him. Thank you.
Super P

Super P

Theme: Experiments on monkeys at a scientific research base. And Mr. master-of-direct-cinema Wiseman presents another institution, like in his other documentaries (Highschool, Hospital ("Near Death"), Army).Only this time we have a very controversial and gruesome piece of "document". In the beginning, we see gorillas in cages and some(like me) may think already then:"How inhumane.Let them free." But actually, they live in paradise compared to the "experiments" and "operations" still awaiting the viewer/monkeys. Wiseman in his ingenuously "absent presence", i.e. his seemingly invisible camera and his unbiased editing, forces us to create a story and an opinion on our own. So there will be no ending in reviewing and rediscussing the film.
Zavevidi

Zavevidi

"The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality." ― Arthur Schopenhauer

Another disturbing but fascinating documentary from Frederick Wiseman, "Primate" observes scientists at work at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center. His title alluding to both men and apes, Wiseman's film opens with a series of close-ups in which the paintings and statues of esteemed human scientists segue into shots of apes in cages. The film's hierarchy is being set up here – man as enlightened and lording over nature – but also its mocking tone, Wisemen's apes and men inseparable, base and equally absurd.

Wiseman's more grotesque films ("Hospital", "Titicut Follies", "Blind", "Welfare", "Meat" etc) tend to feature humans and animals being brutalised within social institutions. "Primate" itself mostly consists of a series of increasingly violent tests being carried out on apes and gorillas. These tests include vivisections, injections, decapitations and so forth. This, of course, recalls the murdered animals in Wiseman's "Meat", the grotesque rehabilitation centres of "Blind", the surgical procedures of "Hospital" and the lobotomies and torture sessions of "Titicut Follies". The cruelty of "Primate" is not an aberration. This is how human "civilization" works. But are such things necessary?

Wiseman uses simple juxtapositions throughout the film. The detachment and mundanity of the scientists, for example, is repeatedly contrasted with the gruesomeness and apparent senselessness of their experiments. Elsewhere we see female scientists maternally caring for infant apes. "Good morning, darlings. Good morning, Mama's babies," they say, reinforcing our sentimental identification with the animals. In the following scene, though, we're back to apes being subject to human domination, mutilation, and termination.

Like "Blind", Wiseman questions the nature of kindness and altruism. He establishes a dialectic between acts that we are likely to perceive as kindness and acts that we are likely to perceive as cruelty. Eventually, though, the kindness of the researches reveals itself to be a form of betrayal or hypocrisy, all designed to ease the consciences of the scientists and make the apes more malleable and prone to co-operation. This, of course, recalls the handicapped men and women of Wiseman's "Blind", who are "taken care of" and "rehabilitated", but also exploited and used as cheap labour by Army contractors. Recall too the panoptical mental hospitals of "Titicut Follies", whose atmosphere of confinement and observation echoes the world of Yerkes Research Center. Indeed, the inmates at "Titicut's" mental hospital echo the apes at Yerkes in numerous ways. Both groups are powerless, subject to forced feedings, studied in a chillingly detached, unsympathetic manner, and suffer abuses rationalised as being "necessary" and "humane".

"Primate's" most gruesome sequence finds a baby gibbon being anaesthetised. A hole is then drilled into its skull, a needle inserted and its chest cavity opened. The gibbon's skull is then cracked open before it is outright decapitated. It's brain is then sliced and put on microscopic slides. Later, scientists discuss whether such "animal cruelty" is justified. Yes, they decide. "All research is useful," a scientist says, "even though its usefulness is not apparent at the time it's done."

Much of the film finds the scientists studying the sexual behaviour of apes. Their studies reduce sexual behaviour to droll mechanics, the scientists stimulating erections and even ejaculating the apes, sometimes by means of brain-implanted electrodes. After a while it becomes clear, though, that Wiseman has positioned us to study these human scientists in much the same way that they are studying the apes. To the scientists, animals are always "the observed", always on one clear side of the subject/object divide. The very language of the scientists seeks to objectify the animals, reducing them to pieces of meat; a means to a larger end. Wiseman's camera performs a similar trick on the scientists, reducing them to grotesque, silly, banal bundles of arrogant flesh. But while Wiseman's stance invites us to experience a kind of comic and cosmic rage, it is not simply accusatory, but deliberately paradoxical. His stance is not forensic, or even political (ie – a simple question of animal rights), but existential. "Primate" is not about a corrupt social institution but abut something that is much more invisible and complex. Most of the institutions Wiseman explores are filled with deep-rooted contradictions, with conflicting policies which are perhaps impossible to resolve.

"Primate" ends with a rhesus money in a Perspex contraption being blasted off into the stratosphere. The scientists, we learn, are now researching zero-gravity conditions. Final shot? A monkey mockingly sticking out its tongue at us. Wiseman cuts to black.

8.5/10 – See "American Experience: The Boy In The Bubble".
Haralem

Haralem

In this research lab, scientists are studying apes to discover how the evolutional paths of apes and men had became different. The watcher will probably feel nearest to the apes than to the scientist in the documentary, maybe this is the answer to the question about the separation between the evolutional paths.