I found myself undeniably drawn to the films written by Brit Marling, Mike Cahill and Zal Batmanglij, who between them have made ANOTHER EARTH, SOUND OF MY VOICE, THE EAST and the upcoming release I ORIGINS. The three are something of a collective--friends since college--who bounce ideas and footage off each other in the hopes of bettering their work and making something that no one else is making. ANOTHER EARTH (co-written by Cahill and Marling; directed by Cahill) and SOUND OF MY VOICE (co-written by Batmanglij and Marling; directed by Batmanglij) are both science fiction in nature if not in feel. They go out of their way to be very personal stories set in a sci-fi world, and the results are something close to spiritual quite often. Those of you who were there for my Q&A screening of ANOTHER EARTH with a Marling and Cahill Q&A remember what a special, lively event that was.
This time, with Cahill serving as sole writer and director (although Marling remains the constant in all of these films as an actor), I ORIGINS is also vaguely science fiction, but it’s more about that constant tug-of-war between the spiritual and fact-based science. One character asks the very poignant question of star Michael Pitt “What would you do if something spiritual disproved your scientific beliefs?” It’s a fair question, and one the film deals with in the context of a great mystery that Pitt is trying to answer using science. It’s a moving, fascinating work that will undoubtedly inspire a great deal of conversation.
And who better to have that conversation with than the folks that made the film? I've got a bunch of seats for Ain’t It Cool News readers for an early Chicago screening of I ORIGINS that will include a post-screening Q&A with writer-director Mike Cahill and lead actor Michael Pitt. This advance screening of I ORIGINS will take place this coming Sunday, July 13 at 7:00pm, at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to those who win). Here's how to win…
Send me an email at IOriginsChicago@aintitcoolmail.com (please note the new email address) with the subject line “Window to the Soul" (exactly like that). In the body of the email, I need your Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (winners can bring up to one guest, whose names are not required), and the answer to the following question: "What is your favorite film dealing with spiritual matters, and why?" (And no, I don’t mean ghost stories, and I don’t necessarily mean religious films either, but you can certainly chose one if you can back it up.) Limit your answer to 100 words. I need a film title and a well though out reason for your choice. The most interesting answers (as judged by me) will win. Winners will hear from me soon.
Although this is not an exclusive Ain't It Cool screening, winners' seats will be reserved until 30 minutes before showtime (meaning 6:30pm). Ain't It Cool winners will have reserved seats until 6:30pm, at which time any unclaimed seats will be given away. The screening is deliberately overbooked so that we have a full house for our guests. So you should arrive early to make sure you get in and get a good seat. If you can't arrive early, don't enter this contest. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guest will have to back out of attending if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter.
I want you to read the previous paragraph and this paragraph very carefully. We've had way too many last-minute cancellations at recent screenings, so the 24-hour cancellation policy does not apply for this screening. If you enter this contest, win, and cancel or don't show up for ANY REASON, the black list will become your new best friend.
Good luck, everyone! And thanks to Fox Searchlight Pictures for giving us this great screening and bringing our guest to Chicago.