Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

"I Origins" studies the eyes and the I + Video

"I Origins" studies the eyes and the I	www.sundance.org
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

"I Origins" requires and rewards patience. Screenwriter/director Mike Cahill takes a scientific premise and pursues it as a serious interrogation. This fits the central, systematic research into the origins of the visual eye, the title complementing this with I, the first person pronoun, thereby suggesting finding the source of one, the physical eye, reveals critical insight into the other.

As with science, Cahill doesn't rush Ian, his central character, a genetic researcher focused on the unique signature of each eye. He and his new lab assistant Karen attempt to manipulate DNA to construct the genesis of an eye giving previously blind worms sight. Meantime, Ian becomes intrigued by and, soon, enamored of an elusive woman named Sofi whose eyes captivate him. Ian has hundreds of photographs of eyes and contributes to a databank of scanned images.

Complications and tragedy intrude as the plot develops, jumping back in time and then forward again. Cahill establishes an appropriately dreamlike aura as he edits montages of events, effectively suggesting more than he shows. Cinematographer Markus Förderer uses a soft focus in many scenes to effect this ambiance, as he relies heavily on close-ups. Often without any added sound, the concentration on the characters and their interactions take center stage. When industrial sound is used, it's particularly effective.

As Ian, Michael Pitt delivers a strong, reserved performance. By contrast, Sofi, played by Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, conveys a lot of energy. Brit Marling as Karen, the genetics lab assistant, is the most surprising and atypical for several reasons. She models an analytical, perceptive, and intelligent approach to all the complications. Not only is it quite unusual for Karen to be a bright, supportive scientist but also she never collapses into the emotional register usually reserved for women. It's as refreshing as it is rare.

Curiously and probably not coincidentally, several contemporary films and television programs consider, in various ways, the issue of science versus some spiritual or inexplicable realm. And, as often happens, the resolution is unsatisfactory as it is in "I Origins." But that's a minor quibble with an engaging film.
At a Landmark Theatre.

Related items (by tag)

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

0 users and 7470 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook