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? 

Fantasia Film Festival & My Line-up!

Fantasia Film Festival starts this week in Montreal. It runs from July 17th to August 6th.

Last year, I lost track of when it started and ended up catching 2 movies.  Sad and pathetic, yeah, I know.  In my defense, I was super sick and was on antibiotics.

This year, I amended my old ways and tracked the event and waited for the schedule to go up and then chose my movies and was ready to pounce at those tickets the first moment they went online.

My plan is to see 10 movies and as this goes up, I’m still hoping that one of them will open up because I don’t quite understand what “restricted availability” is but I have a few backups, I that I can choose from. I’ll tell you which one in a little bit.

No rambling on today.  We’re going straight to business.  This is my line up in order of when I’ll see them.


Open Windows is one I’m not completely sure about.  Sasha Grey isn’t all that convincing to me but then I’m guessing she’ll strip so there’s a appeal to people who like that but my reason is that Elijah Wood has been on a crazy streak of horror movies and they’ve all been received well.  I haven’t seen Maniac or Grand Piano yet but the trailers for those looked good as does this one.  I’ll try to squeeze in Maniac before I go, just to get an idea of Elijah Wood in horror movies, but no guarantees 😉

2) JULY 19: I ORIGINS/USA/2014

I Origins is probably one of the most anticipated movies in 2014 for me.  Brit Marling has been doing amazing movies with Another Earth and The East. She is unstoppable and this one is loaded with cast that I love.  This one was squeezed on a not very good day with another one that I’ll talk about in the end that I had to miss because of my friend’s wedding.  This one cuts into hers just a little but I’ll only be 20 minutes late max.  It should be okay, right? I just couldn’t give it up…what else can I say?


Somehow Youtube didn’t have a trailer for this one but they have a trailer if you follow the link the festival’s page 🙂

Cybernatural is one of the last decisions that I made when compiling this list.  I gave my boyfriend a few choices since he’s going to see some of the weekend movies with me (especially horror).  This one was the final choice.  It looks like it has a pretty intriguing setup and seems to touch on various social issues in the process.


In English, the title is called Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart.

Last year, I saw a few animated movies from France and the style just charmed me so much that when I saw this one and the trailer, I knew I had to see it.  I like the whole dark Gothic style and the original idea of having a boy with a cuckoo clock as his heart.  I’m really excited for this one.

5) JULY 27: HAL/JAPAN/2013

Back to back days of animation.  How can I go to Fantasia and not see something from Japan? I almost wanted to choose a Korean one but it didn’t really work for me other than the cute characters and this one seems to have a more intriguing storyline whether its love or maybe something more. Plus, its only 60 minutes and the animation looks really nice.


I already had Into the Storm in my anticipated movies for 2014 but seeing as this showed up in Fantasia Film Festival, I’m guessing it might not make it to the theatre near me.  Plus, I get advance viewing from everyone else in Montreal whose not seeing this on July 28th? Who needs perks anyways? I just want to see Richard Armitage in a leading role and I love disaster movies.  This one could hit the over the top area but sometimes, it works well 🙂 I’m staying optimistic for this one!


I’m usually not running towards Quebec productions and no, that should say Canada because as much as Quebec wants to believe its unique and not part of Canada, it is.  Just so no one bans me from the movie for saying that, I’m going to shut up about that part.  This movie is weirdly in English (take that, Quebec :P) and its shot in my friend’s condo building.  I recognized the hallways.  Plus, it has a creepy vibe to it.  Its the only horror that I will be going to see by myself, unless some friend decides to join me.


Last year, I wanted to check out Antisocial, which looked mad gory but it had some messed up time where I was always at work.  I know a few of you of reviewed it.   The Drownsman is done by the same team, I believe I read that somewhere.  Confession time: I can’t make it through the trailer? My boyfriend watched it for me and gave it a thumbs up for scary and potentially awesome and he laughed because he doesn’t know how I’ll get through the movie if I can’t get through the trailer.  I don’t know either but I’ll figure it out when I’m sitting in the theatre…


Thats right! August 2nd is a double feature for us.  We have back to back movies with a little time slot in the middle to eat dinner (hopefully). I wasn’t so sure about Time Lapse until I saw the trailer and then I was sold.  Time Lapse looks intense and pretty intense.  The question with these sci-fi time travel-esque movies is whether it makes sense.  I’m confident that it will but I’m also curious to see how this pans out 🙂

Thats what I’ve bought so far!

The movie I believe slipped out of my grasp is also the one I expected to also: the special screening of Guardians of the Galaxy.  I don’t really mind too much.  I’ll still end up seeing it opening weekend, I’m pretty sure.  One of my friends seem pretty hyped up about it.

BUT, that means to complete my 10 movie run, I need to choose one more.

I have to miss Suburban Gothic (and the chance to see Matthew Gray Gubler) because of my friend’s wedding but here’s the trailer:

This just looks so good.  But I had to make a choice and I have prior commitments.  Lets see other options…

There is one that made me laugh called 3D Naked Ambition, a Hong Kong movie at 11:55pm.  Red light flashing on it possibly being in the porn department since its like at midnight.  As I was trying to find the trailer, I actually found the full movie on Youtube so nope, especially since I won’t have public transport to go home either.

Honeymoon also looks pretty good, but I’m not too fond of watching too many horrors on my own.

As interesting as this is, its also a pass.

Now, I could go on because there’s a few action movies that looked decent as well but I came to the final conclusion that it doesn’t feel right to give up the chance to watch a Hong Kong movie on the big screen.  They have one, From Vegas to Macau which I actually bought when I went to Hong Kong earlier and I will review it during this festival time (if I find time for it).

The final choice goes to That Demon Within.  Its somewhat of a horror action flick, if that even exists.

Nick Cheung has been churning out hit after hit and he’s just been out of control.  Daniel Wu is also one of my favorite actors.  The more I watch this trailer, the more I’m convinced this is going to be epic.  On top of that, its a crime thriller and I just can’t resist them.

Thats it for Fantasia Film Festival for now! I’ll be back with reviews in a little bit 🙂 I’ll try to get them out as soon as possible but with the movies mostly at night, I might have a few days delay depending on my schedule.  Things will stay as normal as possible here.  For sure, the focus will be geared towards movie reviews but I still remember that I have the Hong Kong trip that I have a few posts to put up also at the very least.

What movies peak your interest? Have you been to the Fantasia Film Festival? If you are going, what are you seeing? 

Sound of My Voice (2011)

I’m really working on my memory this week with these recommendations as I forgot my notebook with the list in my boyfriend’s car over the weekend.  I know that Natasha from Film and Things had suggested this one after I saw Another Earth but when I went to double check I didn’t have the wrong person, I realized that Eric from the IPC and Joseph from The Cinema Monster also backed her on that one.  Now, I have a huge shoutout to these awesome bloggers!

Natasha has been slowing down on her blog lately but she has been working hard with making a short film called Hold Your Breath that just got released last week.  I linked it up there with her name.  She is totally awesome and that short film is absolutely gripping and done really well.  You have to check it out!

Eric is a popular person around the movie blogs already because he created the very awesome Shitfest and its been going on a seasonal basis now.  I’ve always contributed and its just so much fun.  He writes up on the lesser viewed B-horrors that nobody probably ever hears of, but he occasionally does a fun take on some wider released flicks as well.  If you need a good laugh, I suggest you to head over to The IPC and I guarantee you that you’ll come out giggling, chuckling or flat out rolling on the floor laughing 😉

Joseph is one of the newer bloggers around but he’s been totally awesome.  Last September, he covered the TIFF and he always catches a lot of the big (and some limited) releases.  He writes intriguing reviews and I totally respect everything he says.  Plus, he’s a fellow Canadian living in the neighbouring province so he gets extra points for that 😉

Point is: Go check them out because they are all awesome bloggers and you will be entertained! 🙂

They all recommended Sound of My  Voice. Now lets check it out! 🙂

sound of my voice posterDirector: Zal Batmanglij

Cast: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling Davenia McFadden

Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are a couple who are on their first undercover mission to penetrate a cult group in order to make their.  As they penetrate a cult group lead by Maggie (Brit Marling) who woke up submerged in water and believes that she comes from the future.  As they spend time at a few more of the secret meetings in an unknown location, Peter and Nicole start questioning whether Maggie is actually from the future or is she a fraud?

Look at the cover of this movie.  Thats the cover I had on Netflix and the one I’ve seen the most frequently. I went into this knowing nothing as well but just suggestions.  If I looked at that cover, it could’ve been a creepy horror movie for all I know.  Of course, once the movie starts, you know its not that at all.  Don’t get me wrong though.  I wasn’t looking to watch a horror flick.

sound of my voice atmosphere

Sound of my Voice is a unique film in the way that it uses a pretty simple atmosphere and makes the audience as well as the characters in the movie question some deeper questions.  Trust me on this one, Sound of my Voice has so many unanswered questions, its not even funny.  That is how it stays intriguing, right? My only issue with it is at the very end, it feels like there are too many questions left on the table to fill in the blanks.  I’m still deciding whether I actually liked it a lot.

sound of my voice 1

Sound of my Voice has a lot of redeeming qualities throughout the whole course of the movie, if you can overlook the ending.  One of the best parts is just Brit Marling.  I’ve seen her now in  Another Earth (review HERE) and The East (review HERE). One came before and after the release of this one but I have to admit that this probably is her best role yet.  Brit Marling gave a deep, complex and mysterious vibe to Maggie.  Not only is Maggie already the one that is in question of whether she is sincere about believing she is from the future or she’s just covering something more but there’s a scene in there, which honestly was pretty revolting but when she interacts with Peter, it was pretty intense or maybe just intimidating.  Anyone who has the power to bring that into a movie deserves praise.

sound of my voice 2

The other two central performances are from the couple, Peter and Lorna played by Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius respectively. I’ve never seen those actors before except for perhaps minor roles here and there.  However, as a couple, they had some good scenes and some bad.  They didn’t have a outstanding role like Brit Marling did.  In some parts, their characters felt a bit lacking, maybe slightly underdeveloped.  With them, there are a lot of questions as well but as the movie unfolds, usually I’d expect myself to side with one of them but I didn’t, even when Maggie made them question their beliefs.

sound of my voice tumblr death

Sound of My Voice has a unique story and it brings up a lot to think about.  To me, I’m someone who doesn’t mind thinking after a movie but something about this felt slightly incomplete but I can’t dismiss that the whole course of the movie built up really well.  It pulled me in and kept me wondering especially about Maggie’s character.  Was she actually a fraud or maybe there was a slight chance that she was from the future? Just maybe… Still, the movie does bring some clever twists and some intriguing dialogue. The more you watch this movie, at times, it gets pretty depressing about life and death.  It also goes with strength and weakness to own up to beliefs and choices.

Overall, my conclusion is that I like this movie.  There is a lot to praise and even though, the ending is incomplete, unlike certain movies, it didn’t ruin it completely and it didn’t feel like I wasted my time.  Thats a pretty good thing, right? Brit Marling is quite the genius writer and actress and I look forward to seeing more from her 🙂

Thanks to Natasha, Eric and Joseph for bringing this to my attention. This recommendation was not only thought provoking on the level of the movie but also made me really think whether I liked it or not, which is normally a pretty rare thing for me 😉 Remember to check their blogs out!

Have you seen Sound of my Voice? Do you like Brit Marling? 

The East (2013)

I watched this some time in between the Valentine’s Marathon.  I always need a mini break between all the lovey-dovey and also to not torture my boyfriend and make him sit those movies.  I’m nice that way. The general goal to watch the movies that I’ve bought but haven’t seen during this year is pretty much still there.  Plus, this is pretty much the second last 2013 movie that I bought and I want to really wrap that up by the end of February as well 🙂 This one has had some rather positive reviews so I looked forward to it!

the east posterDirector: Zal Batmanglij

Cast:Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Jason Ritter, Patricia Clarkson

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. –IMDB

IMDB has a good mini synopsis of this one so I’ll just take that.  I’m not even going to attempt to put the movie into my own words because I’ll either spoil it or it’ll make no sense.  Why do I say that? Its not because I’m being lazy.  One thing before we proceed with the actual review is that this is  thriller focused on politics.  I’m not into politics much.  Its not that I don’t understand, I just try to not care as much (except maybe during elections).  Point is, I’m not knowledgeable in this genre.  There could be better and there could be worse than The East but I have very limited comparison. Sounds reasonable? Moving along!

the east brit marling

The East was pretty great. It had some building tension and takes on lots of moral dilemmas as it messed with our main character, Sarah’s, mind.  Although, the only thing was that I figured out part of the ending before we reached it.  Its a well-written story and it targets some big problems where I think in the back of my mind (and probably many others), it brings forth the idea of people standing up for whats right, although in extreme ways, and not being manipulated by big bad wolves – giant heartless corporations that only care for profits.  The whole tone of the movie was pretty strange in a good way and intense.  It provoked a lot of strong feelings as this group, The East, lives in a fairly different and extreme way.  This was pretty  heavy one to watch and I remember having to split it into two nights.  It wasn’t because it was long but just very thought provoking.  Not really fit for a late night movie…

the east 1

One of the main highlights of this one has to be for our main character Sarah, played by Brit Marling.  I saw Brit Marling once before in Another Earth. If you missed that review, you can check it out HERE.  I’m going to start with her because I really love the cast in this.  So, our main character is the one that is tugged in both directions as she tries to survive this undercover mission while having to make the right decision and choice that would not make her feel morally compromised.  Its a lot about morals and ethics of both The East and the big corporations that are targeted. Brit Marling did a fantastic job in portraying the development of her character.

the east scene

Aside from her, we have out male lead Alexander Skarsgard.  Yes, the very handsome Eric in True Blood for those who don’t know. I’ve never seen him in anything outside of True Blood so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. He played the leader of The East called Benji.  Seriously, I’m not sure about his acting or if there was quite that much. It was a very quiet communication on his part and right away, you know that Benji was a character with something more.  Along with him is one of my favorite young actresses, Ellen Page.  Obviously, this is somewhere far from Juno and less intense and psychotic than Hard Candy but I have to say that she’s represents her character Izzy.  Izzy has a “jam” (what they call their operations) that has more personal value to her and right off the bat, you know that she’s dedicated and protective.  She wants things to work out perfectly and because of her lack of trust, it causes some conflicts as well.

the east alex skarsgard

I don’t know what else to say about this one.  Both my boyfriend and I enjoyed it.  It was intense, heavy and targeted some pretty relevant issues actually.  Its an exploration of what is doing the right thing, how extreme it could get and learning how to not morally compromise the situation and finding that balance.  There’s a lot of things that is in this but despite the slightly slow beginning, it picks up to be something quite good.  There is an unnecessary part of the story that I figured would happen but it wasn’t particularly needed but most stories like to add that emotional factor in.  Yes, its worth your time and yes, its good watch.  Don’t do this when your brain is fried because it will get your head moving.  But, I don’t know, who actually watches thrillers when they are tired?

I’m rambling but what I’m saying is that this is pretty good and I do recommend it 🙂

Have you seen The East? Any thoughts? 

Another Earth (2011)

I watched this over the weekend so before the Halloween month actually starts, I wanted to wrap up the loose ends first 🙂

Another Earth has been on Netflix list for a while.  I remembering reading something about it a while back that interested me about the movie but seeing as I have a horrible memory that all I had to go on and not much else.  I don’t know the cast, the director or even much about the story but its going to not be available after October 1st, so I figured I’d give it a shot 🙂

another earth posterDirector: Mike Cahill

Cast: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Jordan Baker, Flint Beverage, Robin Taylor

Rhoda William is a smart 17 year old who had just gotten accepted into MIT and after a celebration party, still drunk and decides to head home and on the way, she hears about the appearance of a new planet close to Earth, which they name Earth 2.  As she looks up, she crashes into John’s car, killing his pregnant wife and young son and putting him into a coma at the same time.  After four years of prison, Rhoda is released and tries to get her life back on track.  When she tries to apologize and seek forgiveness for what she did, she doesn’t have the nerve to do it and ends up telling a lie that draws her a little closer to John. At the same time, she enters herself into a contest to win a ride to Earth 2 which is believed to be the mirror of Earth itself with the a second version of everyone.

another earth rhoda

Another Earth is a really deep movie with amazing visuals and an extremely unique concept.  There’s a lot of soul searching, forgiving others and ourselves for past mistakes and learning to grow up and be responsible for our actions.  Like I said, it really gives us a lot to think about during and after the movie ends.  Lets just say, I started regretting watching it on Saturday night…

another earth rhoda john

The story involves two people: our main actress, Rhoda, played by Brit Marling and the survivor John, played by William Mapother.  I’ve never even heard of Brit Marling before this but she is absolutely amazing.  She interprets the role in such a way that it really makes you feel the struggle that she’s going through, the regrets, and the want to be forgiven and to just have a chance to start over.  Her character portrayal reaches out to the audience and pulls them right alongside her story as the plot develops. Playing alongside is yet another actor I’ve never seen.  Although his part is not as large in some ways, I still believe the William Mapother’s portrayal of John was enough to allow us to see that he also had struggles that he dealt with in his own way.  What was there to do and how do you lift yourself back up after losing your loved ones? How do you move on with life? The fear of losing what you have and perhaps even fear of even more change.

another earth earth 2

I’m personally a musical person and this movie has a touching soundtrack to help enhance the feelings that the audience should feel along with the characters.  Plus, it takes into consideration that one of the characters, John, was a composer and uses that to lead into certain emotions that they want to emphasize on at certain parts.

Another Earth is a deep soul searching journey with a beautiful concept paired with emotional music and stunning visuals.  If you are ready to go for a heavier drama, this one would definitely be a great choice.

Have you seen Another Earth? What did you think about it?