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.

1) JULY 18: OPEN WINDOWS/SPAIN/USA/2014

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?

3) JULY 20: CYBERNATURAL/USA/2014

http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/en/films-schedule/250/cybernatural

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.

4) JULY 26: JACK ET LA MECANIQUE DU COEUR/FRANCE/2013

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.

6) JULY 28: INTO THE STORM/USA/2014

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!

7) AUGUST 1: DYS-/QUEBEC/2014

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.

8) AUGUST 2: THE DROWNSMAN/CANADA/2014

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…

9) AUGUST 2: TIME LAPSE/USA/2013

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?