Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jul 17th, 2014

FILM: I Origins

I_Origins_posterNo, I Origins is not a new Apple product. Rather, this is an impressive, moving exploration of science, faith, love, and what makes us human couched inside a tactile love story and a fascinating mystery. Created by writer/director Mike Cahill, whom you may recall from his 2011 indie film hit,  Another Earth, this is a flat out brilliant work that explores the origins of the human soul.

Don’t get me wrong, this Sundance film about to hit multi-plexes – or at least Los Angeles and New York art houses – this summer is not a film about religion. It’s about life, death, and what may come after. And first and foremost it’s a great story, with universal appeal.

Scientist Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), studying the biology of eye evolution, meets a mysterious woman at a party, Sofi (Astrid Berges Frisby), loses her, finds her, falls madly in love, and marries her.  Yet their beliefs are diametrically opposed: he believes there is no intelligent design for life, while she feels he’s playing God. Isn’t Ian better suited to a partnership with   Karen (Britt Marling, a frequent Cahill collaborator) his savvy lab assistant?

As it turns out, yes – and there’s a shocking twist that leads Ian to her arms, and to their continued pursuit of an eye data base – eyes are as unique as a human fingerprint.  But it is Karen and Ian’s son, and tests run on him that leads Ian to a new scientific search in India, and a beautiful realization that’s spiritual and metaphysical in nature.

This is a masterful work, one that tackles large, profound spiritual themes without any preaching,  an exploration of the mysteries of life inside a love story and a mystery. More than anything else, this film evokes a thrilling belief in the resilience of the human spirit.  Beautifully acted, and lyrically shot by Markus Forderer, Cahill’s work is like nothing else you’ve ever seen. All told, this was my favorite out of 26 movies seen at Sundance in 2014.

I Origins is in theaters nationwide on July 18, 2014.

About the Author

- Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and produced screen and television writer. New books include the romantic suspense of Executive Impulse (Crimson); more romance and mystery with Between the Sheets (Entangled), co-written with Linda Marr; and the mystery thriller Marathon (Five Star/Cenage). Her previous titles include the award winning romantic suspense of The Model Man and Five O’Clock Shadow (Kensington); the literary fiction of Dreamtown (FictionWorks), and the erotic novella Rodeo Man (as Nikki Alton) in The Cowboy anthology (Aphrodisia). In film, her work spans a variety of genres from supernatural thriller to romantic drama, family, teen, and comedy with an emphasis on independent film. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, she’s written on staff for ABC-TV’s Port Charles; written, produced, and directed reality programming and documentaries for TLC, Lifetime, PBS, and HGTV, as well as numerous television commercials and corporate videos. She’s also written hundreds of articles on travel, love, the arts, writing, tech, food, parenting, and more.

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FILM: I Origins