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July 25, 2014

High Concept I ORIGINS a Flawed Experiment

— Posted by Kenny Miles



I ORIGINS, the second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory. Also starring Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi, the film is produced by Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky. (c) Fox Searchlight


I ORIGINS doesn’t really work as a movie, but you can’t blame ambitious ideas for trying. It was all over the place thematically and shifts tones. At times, it was boring and drags, yet I found the fusion of science and fiction to be very fascinating. This is an odd little movie to generate such a conflicting reaction. I ORIGINS fuses the faith-based theology of reincarnation with hard data science with evidence via the eyes. It features some strong emotional (if not manipulative) moments were audiences are drawn in. I was disconnected with a few moments I don’t want to reveal.


Brit Marling, who is a talent I respect and admire, is emerging into an indie queen for my generation. With SOUND OF MY VOICE, ANOTHER EARTH, and THE EAST, she co-writes high concept, thought provoking specialty releases with a preposterous premise and odd endings. Her involvement with I ORIGINS is appropriate and continues the trend. Who says the implausible and entertaining movies need to be big budget features from major studios!? The art house crowd loves to escape, as well. I think Fox Searchlight should continue their working relationship with Brit Marling because even when movies of hers don’t work, they are interesting to dissect and discuss.


**One complaint I had with I ORIGINS was the fact that too much is revealed in the trailer. Avoid it at all costs. If you see the trailer, why bother with the movie. Thankfully, I forgot about most of the trailer when I saw it just once a few months ago.


I rate I ORIGINS a 5 out of 10.

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who has written 275 posts on The Movie Blog

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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