Fantasia Festival 2014: I Origins (2014)

The second movie in my line-up is not only on the most packed schedule on a personal level but also one that I’ve been anticipating a whole lot.  Its this little independent drama called I Origins. Mike Cahill’s first movie after Another Earth, which I totally adored.  My review of that one is HERE if you’d like to check it out. Whatever Brit Marling attaches herself to, I’m willing to go see.  And then there’s Astrid Berges-Frisbey who I adored in Angels of Sex (review HERE).  And its been a while since I’ve seen Michael Pitt and even though the movie Murder by Numbers wasn’t all that great, I still remember Michael Pitt vividly and how I thought he’d turn out to be a fine actor someday (or at least I hoped it would).

I’m getting ahead of myself, how about a little summary before we hit the review (as complicated as it will be to write)?

I origins posterDirector: Mike Cahill

Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Steven Yuen

Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is a PhD student and a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye.  He is ready to prove that God has nothing to do with the creation of life but rather evolution can be controlled by humans.  When Karen (Brit Marling) enters into his life as his lab partner, she helps him discover the ambitious way of looking at his research and experiments.  At the same time, he is also lead by the mystery of these beautiful eyes that mesmerized him which leads him to Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), a free-will and spiritual woman. Sofi becomes his first love but also the one that eventually slips away from him. Years later, all his research is questioned when the find a breakthrough of finding the impossible happen, similar iris patterns.  Which brings the question: Are the eyes really the windows to our soul?

I Origins

I Origins has this amazing concept and just like Another Earth, it sets out a lot of questions.  Last time was essentially soul search and forgiveness while looking at the possibility of a second chance.  This time, its exploring the eye, with the main questions of religious/spiritual beliefs and science.  Isn’t that the big question, right? Except there is no reason to be offended by this even if you carry your faith with a certain religion.  Mike Cahill is quite a genius, I find, because he explores the stubbornness of believing in science as always finding proof but then looking at whether if it were to be disapproved by religion, or vice versa with religion, whether they would be accepted. What I love about this movie is not even touching these elements but just that, it looks at whether there is a soul and reincarnation.  To me, the fact that he can make something so abstract and invisible thing appear in the context of a movie and apply it so efficiently and beautifully, I was totally sold. As with Another Earth, these stories progress slowly and build their momentum to enchant its viewers. Honestly, I really think the enjoyment of this movie requires you to stay open-minded and to fully accept the possibility of anything that can happen.

The best line in the movie goes to (and its in the trailer) when Ian Gray meets a woman helping him out in India and asks him: What would you do if something spiritual disproves your scientific beliefs?

I origins

In a way, you can look at I Origins in different phases but each equally passionate for what its trying to say.  The first part is an introduction with passionate love story about first love.  In this sense, Michael Pitt and Astrid Berges-Frisbey are quite convincing as the really in love couple except I guess, there’s always that question of when their beliefs would get in the way.  Sofi is a spiritual girl who believes that they were brought together because she feels like they are connected in a previous life, which is something that Ian obviously does not believe in.  As I write this up, I’m starting to see some correlations in the movie that I didn’t even notice the first time around.  Except it is undeniable that their love does feel very genuine.  Although at times, it seems to brush past maybe just like how a quickly developed romance feels like with all the passion masking our logic, but thats just me overanalyzing, I think. However, we quickly see that the beginning happens as quickly their ending and that part of their relationship is what peaks the turning point of where this movie is going and thats when we fall in the world of possibilities, exploration and just simply thought-provoking area.

I Origins

I have nothing to say about the cast here honestly but rather if I could, I’d put spoilers and then I’d invite everyone who has seen this to have an intense conversation about I Origins.  I think the cast was perfect.  The only person I haven’t talked about at this point is Brit Marling.  She is a beautiful actress who knows how to dive into these challenging roles of being torn between some intense choices in life.  It was that way with Another Earth, same goes to The East and now we have I Origins to add to her list of intriguing movies. Brit Marling’s Karen lights up on the passion of discovering something new shows a bit about her character itself.

I’m out of words for just how impressed I was with I Origins.  It was beautiful to watch and it blew my mind.  It was about deep issues: life and death, reincarnation, science and religion and especially beliefs and passion.  In my opinion, Mike Cahill really went over and beyond with this movie and its amazing to see.  I was speechless at the end of this and I offer my standing ovation to him and everyone involved in this movie because its been awhile that I’ve been genuinely and completely in awe with a movie and spent some time thinking about the genius of everything behind it.

Seeing as this was a Canadian premiere, any thoughts on this movie? Anyone thats seen it can please tell me whether you liked it or not? And if you didn’t, could you please explain to me why? If you did, what did you like about it? 

The Sex of the Angels (2012)

I always stick one of these not so direct recommendations but that I totally loved from a fellow blogger’s write-up.  This time, it was a review (of sorts) for The Sex of the Angels by Simon at Simon Says..Watch This! I’m always on the lookout for good steamy romance, plus its foreign.  I like those once in a while and usually they turn out soft porn and cheesy more than good.  Refer to my 3(some) reviews HERE that I’ve done once before and compiling a second one very soon! The Sex of the Angels had me completely intrigued and eventually I found time earlier to watch it!

Before we move along to my review, Simon is a fantastic blogger.  He has very awesome reviews and his blog is extremely entertaining.  You can find lots of stuff on TV, movies, trailers, rom-com list, etc. He’s a great guy so you should drop by and check it out if you haven’t already! 🙂

Now for the little synopsis and review!

sex of the angels posterDirector: Xavier Villaverde

Cast: Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Alvaro Cervantes, Llorenc Gonzalez, Sonia Mendez, Julieta Marocco

Carla (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) and Bruno (Llorenc Gonzalez) are in an established relationship with each other.  One day, as Bruno was on his way home to meet with Carla and her parents, he gets mugged while watching a street dance performance.  Luckily, one of the dancers, Rai (Alvaro Cervantes) comes to the rescue.  Rai enters into Bruno and Carla’s lives and relationship causing them to rethink their desires and what they want in their lives.

I’m going into a lot of these movies (recommended or not) pretty much blind.  I didn’t know what to expect from this one.  Netflix calls this one Angels of Sex which is a bit different from The Sex of the Angels and makes it sound so…not good.  However, The Sex of the Angels is awesome because these characters, Bruno, Carla, and Rai are all very human and very real.  I could connect to them and everything.  The story is maybe not very much a conventional love story but its filled with passion and desire.  The sex scenes are not trashy but pretty enticing and erotic.  You do have to keep an open mind for this one though, it will tread on some boundaries that maybe some people won’t be too into watching. Still, I loved it a lot!

the sex of the angels carla

Actually, some of you may know the actress that plays Carla from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as the mermaid.  I looked at her and all I got was that she looked familiar but you know, that movie was pretty forgettable to me.  This movie is in a completely different league.  The character Carla had a whole dilemma to go through and choices to make.  She was one of the nice characters because she was willing to do anything to keep her relationship alive and she kept herself open-minded.  You could feel her being desperate, confused and sweet throughout the whole movie.

the sex of the angels bruno

On the other hand, Bruno was not so much my favorite character but I believe his character was laid out to have the development of not really liking him because he was somewhat self-centered and bordering selfish but turns around to be something more.

the sex of the angels rai

 While Rai is something in between, he has his issues and has to face getting over some of it.  As much as it seems like he was somewhat messing around with others relationships, I never really hated him because his character showed the most genuine emotions and intentions.

sex of the angels 1

The Sex of the Angels had a unique story, amazing characters and wrapped it all up with some fun music to keep the movie going on a pretty romantic, erotic and sensual journey through their relationships.  Plus, it has one of the best endings EVER! I totally recommend it but like I said, keep an open mind.  You do that, I promise you a really enjoyable time! I know because I went back and watched it a second time. A huge thanks to Simon for writing up on this movie and bringing it to my attention. Thats the beauty of blogging! 🙂

Have you seen The Sex of the Angels?