Movie review: I Origins a tale of faith, sceience and love (with video)

Posted: July 26, 2014 at 2:55 am

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I Origins 3.5 stars out of 5 Starring: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Steven Yeun, Astrid Bergs-Frisbey Directed by: Mike Cahill Running time: 113 minutes

The Alfred P. Sloan prize may not have the name recognition or glam factor as the ever-coveted Oscar, but the $20,000 award named after the longtime head of General Motors is unique in the world of entertainment because it honours movies that feature science and scientists in a major role.

Director-writer Mike Cahill has won this prize twice since it was first handed out at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003: first in 2011 with the low-budget but intellectually rich sci-fi thriller Another Earth, starring Brit Marling and William Mapother, and in January with I Origins.

That may not seem so impressive given the relatively low profile of the prize, but it tells us a lot about Cahills overall approach to the creative endeavour, not to mention the universe as a whole.

Cahill clearly feels the mystery of the life experience, and he wants to explore the spiritual implications of consciousness. But hes too analytical to surrender entirely to abstracts and human fable.

In Another Earth, he tells the story of a college student who accidentally kills another driver, spends time in jail, then gets out on the eve of a momentous discovery: Earth has a twin planet weve never seen before, where we may well have a doppelgnger going through the same life crises.

Cahill said that movie was about externalizing our inner dialogue. I Origins probes a similar crack in the existential wallpaper by peeling back layer after layer of religious and scientific theory about what happens after we die.

Michael Pitt plays Ian, a researcher exploring the genetic roots of the human eye. Ian believes if he can find the origin species for sight, he will gain a better understanding of the eye and see evolutionary biology from a whole new perspective.

Yet, just as he intensifies his focus, hes blinded by a raging attraction for a woman he meets at a party. Sofi (Astri Bergs-Frisbey) is a free spirit, a model and a sex vixen. Shes also wearing a mask, but Ian takes a photograph of her uniquely coloured irises as a memento.

For the next few days, hes entirely distracted by memories of their brief encounter. Then, fate seems to intervene. In a scene borrowed from The Great Gatsby, he sees a billboard that features her unique eyes and begins to track her down.

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Movie review: I Origins a tale of faith, sceience and love (with video)

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July 26th, 2014 at 2:55 am