By Sunny Zaman, Little Theatre Intern
I was sipping a simple variation of the Little Café's quirky caffeinated concoctions (vanilla latte), and my buddies were chewing on their respective wraps.
Oliver said, through his full mouth,
"What is I Origins about?"
We had entered The Little planning to see A Most Wanted Man, featuring our Rochester pride and joy; the colorful I Origins poster had tickled Oliver's aesthetic fancy.
I had seen the trailer once:
"Uhm. There's a scientist who falls in love with a woman with beautiful eyes, and he becomes obsessed with the uniqueness of the eye, and it has something to do with interconnection and individualism . . . or something."
Though I understood my elevator-pitch was less than concise, we changed plans and saw the film anyway. It had been some time since I had seen Mike Cahill's previous film - and that was from whence my expectations of I Origins tone and direction came.
Another Earth (also featuring Brit Marling) is a sort of contextual science-fiction film, in which a surreal premise meets at the intersection of human choice and consequence: Another Earth appears in the solar system, quickly approaching our planet. A contextual sci-fi picture; which is to say, that the science fiction is merely a frame within which to tell a story. Think Christopher Nolan's Inception and how it doesn't exploit the dream-within-a-dream technology, but established a conditional world in which a story about love, loss, and consequence takes place.
While I have my over-analytical, film school gripes with both films, I do have an appreciation for Cahill's uniqueness in the indie world, where films seem to self-orchestrate their own pigeon-holding into obscure, progressive, or visceral markets with a young audience.
I Origins did something a film hasn’t done for me in a long while. Not since Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, NY, I'd say. As soon as end-credits started to roll, I felt an excitedly sobering sense of wonder.
Afterward, my friends and I boringly discussed the film from a production standpoint, because that's what jaded film students, cinephiles, and passive poets end up doing when discussing film together.
Then on its poetic and narrative element, I passively exclaimed (not being far out enough of viewing the movie to give a confident retrospective), that I felt the aforementioned sense of excitement.
Having had some time pass, I can say I Origins provided me a child-like suspension of disbelief, that I was convinced was only sincerely possible at age seven.
Sunny is a film industry student at Brooklyn College. It was The Little's privilege to have him as an intern summer of 2014. He didn't write this part.