I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

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CR2
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#2 Post by CR2 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:09 pm

You only had to say Brit Marling. I'm there with bells on.

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domino harvey
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#3 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:15 pm

William Mapother is in the cast again as well! Perhaps the impatient can decipher this shot from the production designer while we wait for more:

Image

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CR2
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#4 Post by CR2 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:16 pm

Apparently the Production Designer is JJ Abrams? ;)

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#5 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:31 pm

Only had to see Mike Cahill's name to know who started this thread and why.

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domino harvey
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#6 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:39 pm

My Michael Pitt Yahoo! Fan Club Group is common knowledge

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#7 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:59 pm

I know. Keep waiting for you to start the "Murder by Numbers" thread.

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domino harvey
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#8 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:55 pm


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Jeff
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#9 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:35 pm

Fox Searchlight picked it up.

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domino harvey
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#10 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:59 pm

That's about as surprising as me starting this thread!

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#11 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:29 am


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FerdinandGriffon
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#12 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:15 pm

That looks appalling. Why a science-fiction premise should be so blatantly cobbled together out of cliches, folk wisdom and cloying literalisms is beyond me, especially when you're going to further abort it by cross-breeding with the strung out "I fell in love with a French girl" and "spiritual journey to India" genres.

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domino harvey
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#13 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Perhaps, perhaps not-- it is hardly unusual for a trailer to be deceptive and/or half-truths about its actual narrative, or for something to seem cloying in this format but not so in context. See the uproar just this last week over Transcendence's trailer and advertising using PR-written dialog with no input from the director

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#14 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:41 pm

Yes, that's true. Actually, this'll probably be my first foray into the world of Cahill-Marling-Batmanglij, if only because I'm curious to see how they shot my neighborhood (it seems Pitt's scientist lives off the Gates J too).

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warren oates
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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#15 Post by warren oates » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:54 pm

FerdinandGriffon wrote:That looks appalling. Why a science-fiction premise should be so blatantly cobbled together out of cliches, folk wisdom and cloying literalisms is beyond me, especially when you're going to further abort it by cross-breeding with the strung out "I fell in love with a French girl" and "spiritual journey to India" genres.
Much I as love getting into it with FG in some other threads and hate it when a trailer creates this kind of instantaneous negative dismissal, I've now seen the whole film and can't really disagree with this assessment.

The film is best before it defines itself and settles into what the narrative's really going to be about. Then you just sit there and kind of watch the procession of increasingly less mysterious happenings become increasingly less interesting with the help of on the nose dialogue, overdetermined symbolism and self contradicting religion vs. science talk that ultimately devolves even further into the lowest form of gee-whiz Shyamalan shenanigans.

I Origins is more polished and assured in nearly every respect than Another Earth. Cahill's certainly proficient with the camera and skilled with actors. Though there is one egregious tonal error that doesn't even really pay off in the end when the big reveal we knew was coming all along finally does; instead it still feels in retrospect like it needlessly derails the film for about ten minutes.

The big problem for Cahill remains his writing. He seems too easily impressed with his own half-formed ideas, too quick to assume that his first instinct about where a story should go or what a moment should mean is interesting and not simply, you know, the first thing you think of because it's already pretty hackneyed and obvious. Again and again while watching his films I find myself feeling like the audience of a child magician. Like he's working up to these big "ta da!" moments of magic words and astonishing reveals that aren't quite there for me the way he intends and never exactly the surprise he imagines we couldn't possibility have anticipated.

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#16 Post by dad1153 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:56 am

Went last night to a screening of "I Origins" at NY's Landmark Sunshine. Director Mike Cahill and actor/producer Michael Pitt were running late for a scheduled Q&A and Landmark management needed the room for a midnight 35mm showing of "Rushmore," so we were sent to the lobby. Then Cahill and Pitt showed up, rounded us (about 50 people) to go to another empty theater to have the Q&A, only to be told by Landmark people they needed that room for the 12:15AM showing the "Last Lovers Left Alive." So, with nowhere to have the Q&A, Cahill and Pitt took over a little waiting lounge on the 2nd floor of Landmark and asked us to sit down on the floor and have the Q&A there. Other than one coherent-but-crazy-eyed fan of Pitt's that wanted to know all about his Mason Verger character from TV's "Hannibal" it was a fun and engaging Q&A. I got Cahill to whisper into my ear the budget of "I Origins" compared with "Another Earth's" (a 1 to 16 ratio), which for some reason made the whole crowd laugh.

As far as "I Origins" goes, it's an engaging but pretentious flick full of ideas it is more interested in presenting than answering, but I found that fascinating. Most science fiction movies are more interested in the fiction than the science, but "I Origins" (much more than "Another Earth") goes to great lengths to concentrate on making the science aspects of the bullshit it's peddling seem as real as possible. This is totally story-driven filmmaking, since the faith-vs-science part comes into play early and often (to its detriment). The open-ended-for-interpretation final reveal is typical of the movies Brit Marling stars in (think the hand shake salute at the end of "Sound of My Voice"). This becomes a completely different movie after Astrid Bergès-Frisby's Sofi character (alive and three-dimensional, something everyone else isn't but they appear to be bouncing off from Astrid's fire) is basically replaced by Brit Marling, a rare case where the latter is a trade down playing a much less forceful and interesting character than her usual roles. Michael Pitt has the thankless role of basically being the cipher around which the movie revolves. He's fine but isn't asked to do much than mope and posture as a bargain-basement version of Johnny Depp's character in "Transcendence.".

The Marvel-like coda scene after the credits end absolutely changes the perception of the movie, but according to the director you'd be better off not seeing it. Cahill told us at the Q&A he wanted the story he was telling to end proper before the credits, and there was no place for the coda scene to go without ruining the flow of the main story. So Cahill chose to put it all the way at the end, as far back from the pre-credits ending, more as a 'stinger' conversation piece (an 'afterthought for fans' Cahill called it) than anything he wanted the movie to be remembered for because, he assumed, few to no people who catch "I Origins" will stay 'till the end.

Sorry, Mike Cahill, but the ideas that the coda scene provokes can't be dismissed as they completely alter what "I Origins" ultimately means to tell, a 'B' story beat too far out to not overcome where and what the 'A' story postures. It's an OK at best movie and not for everybody. I dug it and I'm glad I've seen it, but "Another Earth" this is not.

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#17 Post by warren oates » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:50 am

dad1153 wrote:The Marvel-like coda scene after the credits end absolutely changes the perception of the movie, but according to the director you'd be better off not seeing it. Cahill told us at the Q&A he wanted the story he was telling to end proper before the credits, and there was no place for the coda scene to go without ruining the flow of the main story. So Cahill chose to put it all the way at the end, as far back from the pre-credits ending, more as a 'stinger' conversation piece (an 'afterthought for fans' Cahill called it) than anything he wanted the movie to be remembered for because, he assumed, few to no people who catch "I Origins" will stay 'till the end.
For those of us who missed it could you type up a quick spoiler tagged synopsis of what happens in that scene?

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#18 Post by dad1153 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:20 pm

warren oates wrote:
dad1153 wrote:The Marvel-like coda scene after the credits end absolutely changes the perception of the movie, but according to the director you'd be better off not seeing it.
For those of us who missed it could you type up a quick spoiler tagged synopsis of what happens in that scene?
After the credits roll
SpoilerShow
we cut back to Dr. Simmons' darkened lab, where she's doing research on Ian and Karen's baby's eyes. She says something ominous (I forget what it was, something like 'here we go') to match the Marvel supervillain music playing, and the camera pans to a big screen showing the baby's eyes being compared to the eyes of a series of historical figures/celebrities flashing by: JFK, Elvis, MLK, Ghandi, Hitler, Lincoln, Saddam Hussein, etc. The movie cuts to black just as we hear the beeping of the computer having found a match. It totally feels like the ending of an "X-Men" or "Captain America" movie setting up the sequel.


Since Cahill mentioned in the Q&A some deleted scenes he took out to streamline the narrative (which explains why Mapother is barely in the flick, most of his scenes were cut out) I'm surprised he didn't also leave out the coda since
SpoilerShow
it's doubtful "I Origins" will spawn a sequel, let alone one with some sort of superhero/supervillain motif
. Yes, it answers the dangling question about a character that's introduced early and left dangling, but it's at such odds with the tone and ideas of the flick it might as well not exist.
Last edited by dad1153 on Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#19 Post by warren oates » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:43 pm

So what exactly was Mapother supposed to be doing then?
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Was his brief bit of introductory dialogue really just a cover story? He was in league with the government scientist searching for the reincarnation of a great world leader? He was tailing Pitt?
Anyway, yeah, you're right that after the credits coda if anything makes it all slightly worse.
SpoilerShow
Even if we accept most of the supernatural twist at face value, the leaps of logic all of the other characters seem to be jumping to once they become convinced that something like "reincarnation" is taking place are laughable. I suppose that world leader they find, say, little JFK somewhere in Africa or whatever, will be, what, shuffled away to an elite training academy for an education worthy of his completely unearned position in this life? Wouldn't the whole point be to live a different life? And the sort of absolute retention of personality, of skills and quirks and likes and dislikes doesn't even seem to be the case during Pitt's ridiculously unscientific "experiment," just as it isn't in any of the anecdotal accounts of reincarnation that already exist in the annals of paranormal lit. By the way, after the first ending Pitt's off to do god knows what with his street urchin orphan and perhaps soon to be adopted daughter (ex)lover child. Phew! The creepiness of him just taking her off the street into his hotel room was weird enough.

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#20 Post by dad1153 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:34 pm

According to Cahill
SpoilerShow
there was a scene after Pitt and the kid leave the hotel with Archie Panjabi, then another with Marling in America, that established the American couple had adopted the kid. He said he took it out for time and for the same reason "Robocop" ends on the 'Murphy' line: after they leave the hotel the thrust of the movie's narrative is over, time to bail.
Same reason Mapother was cut out,
SpoilerShow
though Cahill wouldn't say what his scenes were or if they were tied to the coda. Once his character was established as a religious type Pitt wouldn't want to run into it explains (a) why Pitt avoids the elevator when he and the kid enter the hotel, which (b) pays off for the reveal later of the kid being afraid of the elevator "proving" to him that she's Sofi. If the kid had thrown a fit the first time they were going up to the room it wouldn't have had the impact the same scene does when they're going down, which more than one person in the theater anticipated would open to reveal Mapother coming face-to-face with the kid.
If you think about it, you gotta admire Cahill's decision to streamline a character's entire role after his introduction serves it's purpose for coincidence (fate?) being a factor in Michael Pitt's life.
warren oates wrote:
SpoilerShow
Even if we accept most of the supernatural twist at face value, the leaps of logic all of the other characters seem to be jumping to once they become convinced that something like "reincarnation" is taking place are laughable. I suppose that world leader they find, say, little JFK somewhere in Africa or whatever, will be, what, shuffled away to an elite training academy for an education worthy of his completely unearned position in this life? Wouldn't the whole point be to live a different life? And the sort of absolute retention of personality, of skills and quirks and likes and dislikes doesn't even seem to be the case during Pitt's ridiculously unscientific "experiment," just as it isn't in any of the anecdotal accounts of reincarnation that already exist in the annals of paranormal lit.
I forgot that
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Hitler and Saddam Hussein were also among the historical figures flashing whose eyes were being compared to the baby's, maybe Mao and Mussolini too; Lincoln was definitely there and maybe George Washington too. Again, so many faces flashed during those last 10 seconds. But yeah, the idea is also that if the reincarnated dictators/mad men could be found we could prevent future genocides and/or wars from taking place.
Madness! :P

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#21 Post by warren oates » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:12 pm

dad1153 wrote:I forgot that
SpoilerShow
Hitler and Saddam Hussein were also among the historical figures flashing whose eyes were being compared to the baby's, maybe Mao and Mussolini too; Lincoln was definitely there and maybe George Washington too. Again, so many faces flashed during those last 10 seconds. But yeah, the idea is also that if the reincarnated dictators/mad men could be found we could prevent future genocides and/or wars from taking place.
Madness! :P
Because the point, you know,
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that reincarnation might be about living a different life in someone else's shoes because you've got unlearned lessons (as the phenomenon has been described from Plato to Buddhism and on up to Ghost Inside My Child) such as "don't mass murder people." (Then again, Patton did imagine he'd lived many lifetimes as a warrior...) So I guess I'm no more on board with preemptively hunting down and imprisoning or murdering the Hitler baby than, say, the weird adoption/marriage that Pitt indeed seems to have going. Those are just way too many assumptions about the ethical thing to do with a being that lives more than once.

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)

#22 Post by dad1153 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:23 pm

Don't get me wrong, overall I like "I Origins" and look forward to what Cahill & Co. can do as their budgets and confidence grow. The shot when Ian sees the eyes on the billboard for the first time was amazing, a seamless mix of practical and invisible effects work. I'm happy there's room in our movie landscape for indie writers/directors like Marling, Batmangli and Cahill that want to tackle ideas and intelligent stories that contrast with genre directors (Ty West) and blockbuster makers (Michael Bay) that appeal to the bloodlust and thrill-seeking masses.

It's just that "Another Earth" was so got damn awesome that, given he had 16 times the budget for "I Origins," I expected a movie that'd blow "AE" away, and it didn't. Nice try though. :)

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Re: I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014) - NYC, was the Q&A recorde

#23 Post by kap » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:33 pm

I'm looking for a video or audio of the Q&A from the New York City screening at the Landmark Sunshine Theatre on Houston st.
Does anyone know if one exists?

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