I, Origins

August 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Michael Pitt, Astrid Bergés-Frisbey, Brit Marling
Directed by: Mike Cahill (“Another Earth”)
Written by : Mike Cahill (“Another Earth”)

As many moviegoers who jump on board with everything director/writer Mike Cahill pitches to them in his new independent sci-fi drama/romance “I, Origins,” there are bound to be just as many who scream foul. Cahill isn’t the type of filmmaker who spells things out for audiences. Once they enter the black hole of this particular film’s narrative, there’s really no way to crawl out of it. Ask Cahill for help and he’s bound to be standing over you, shovel in hand, digging deeper.

Thematically, “I, Origins” is the type of film that could be considered implausible for people who walk into the theater with a mind closed to the possibility that not everything they believe on a spiritual front is true. With a number of recently released movies that have already catered to those who take their religious beliefs at face value (“God’s Not Dead,” “Heaven is for Real,” “Son of God”), a film like “I, Origins” might rub a few the wrong way just like Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of “Noah” did back in March. (How fictional rock monsters are more fantastically absurd than Biblical talking snakes, I have no idea).

Still, Cahill has something to say and, despite the fact he doesn’t define or categorize anything with much initiative, he does present a number of complex ideas for people to sift through and come up with their own theories. If you can stand to do a little work (and aren’t the kind of moviegoer that automatically disregards clashing and sometimes convoluted theories as pretentious banter), then “I, Origins” just might be a film to deem beautiful, uplifting and philosophically deep.

In the film, actors Michael Pitt and Brit Marling play two molecular biologists, Ian and Karen, whose research leads them to believe that God may not exist based on experiments they are conducting on worms. As far-fetched as that may sound to some, Cahill carefully crafts his script around a peculiar love story between Ian and an exotic woman, Sofi (Astrid Bergés-Frisbey) whose eyes become the catalyst for Ian’s lofty hypotheses – one that will disprove creationists worldwide.

Extremely ambitious all around, save for Pitt’s static performance, “I, Origins” not only explores the idea that a higher power does not exist, it also delves into topics like soul mates and déjà vu and everyday coincidences (like looking at a clock at the exact time it changes to 11:11). It’s a smart film that covers its bases and plays out like a mystery as Ian travels across the world searching for answers that may never come.

With Cahill in the driver’s seat, you can definitely bet on those answers not being served on a sliver platter. And that’s not a bad thing at all. If you like your movies wrapped up neatly with a nice little bow, “I, Origins” is going to be a tough one to get through. For everyone else, there hasn’t been a more thought-provoking film this year.

Ástrid Bergés-Frisbey – POTC4

May 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Her professional career may have begun obscurely as an actress and model in Paris, but Ástrid Bergés-Frisbey will soon see some major fanfare when her very first American-made movie, the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, hits theaters this week.

In the swashbuckling sequel, Bergés-Frisbey, who is of Spanish and French heritage, plays Syrena, a mermaid who becomes the key to finding the Fountain of Youth.

During an exclusive interview with me, Bergés-Frisbey, 24, talked about the long auditioning process she went through to land the role of Syrena and why she decided to stay out of the sun as much as possible while shooting in Hawaii.

What was the auditioning process like for this huge blockbuster movie?

The first was a casting audition in Paris. It wasn’t easy for me because at that point my English was really, really bad. I did a quick scene but knew nothing about the character. They didn’t even tell me it was a mermaid, but I guessed because the name “Syrena” sounded like “mermaid” in Spanish (“sirena”). During the audition I wasn’t expecting anything. I never thought I would be auditioning for a huge blockbuster English movie like “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It was just unbelievable to think I could get the part.

I’m guessing there was more than one audition you had to do?

Yeah, the second came four days later in L.A. It was my first time there. It was in front of [director] Rob Marshall and [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer. I was really nervous, but they made me feel really comfortable. They were really welcoming and lovely with me.

Did you go home thinking you had done enough to earn the part?

When I flew back to Paris I had this sensation that I did my best. I came back hoping I would get to work with these fabulous people. After that, my agent called me again to say there would be one more audition in London. I was like, “Oh my God, again?” After 10 days I went to London and the day before the audition my agent called me and told me I got the part. I didn’t think it was real. I was supposed to do an audition the next day. I was trembling and screaming in my hotel room.

As you started to learn more about your character, what did you like about her?

I really liked the way they imagined the mermaids in the movie because they are closer to the original legends like in “The Odyssey” from Homer. I liked the fact they are the enemy. They are creatures that take the form of beautiful women who charm sailors and then kill them. I was interested in that. I was also interested in my mermaid because she is a bit different. She has a different side to her. It’s exciting for an actress to work on a character like that.

Is it true while you were shooting in Hawaii you tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible so you wouldn’t get a tan?

Yeah, because I knew that for the continuity it would be really hard for everyone if they had to work with someone whose skin color was always changing. But it’s impossible not to get sun in Hawaii even if you wear a hat and sunscreen, so it was difficult. This mermaid was really pale because I imagined her living really deep underwater. Usually mermaids just come out at night.

Had that ever happened to you before?

Yeah, I had some bad memories from another movie. I had lunch outside in the sun one day. It was a huge problem for the movie. I was red. It was kind of tragic. I didn’t want something like that to happen again.

In the film you help Capt. Jack Sparrow look for the Fountain of Youth. If you were ever given the chance to drink from the fountain and be young forever would you do it?

No because I love life and I’d like to live every minute of it. I think life is more interesting if you take it each step of the way.