Independent movies are typically seen only by small audiences who seek them out as part of film festival scheduling, but in recent years, we’ve seen indies grow to be as widely watched as big budget studio films. As this expansion in exposure has changed, the indie film mold that everyone thinks they know has changed as well. This path of evolution has now brought us a film about just that: the path of evolution, or more specifically the evolution of our eyes. I Origins doesn’t look anything like a stereotypical indie film, and thanks to the folks at Apple, we have our first proper look at the movie that raised some eyebrows at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Written and directed by Mike Cahill, the film tells the story of a scientist (Michael Pitt of Boardwalk Empire) bent on discovering the evolutionary origin of the eye. Over the course of several years, his research progresses and eventually his lab partner (Brit Marling of Another Earth) discovers someone in India with an iris pattern identical to that of Pitt's character's deceased lover. This brings up a lot of metaphysical questions involving the presence of souls, whether Intelligent Design comes into play or not, and ultimately what lengths a man of science will go to prove or disprove that a miraculous coincidence has some sort of deeper cosmic meaning.
From the onset, this trailer puts down a lot of roots for this story to grow out from, and even though it suffers from "Blockbuster Trailer Syndrome" (wherein a trailer gives away a lot of the story’s beats in a short window), it still looks like an engrossing story of Faith versus Science. Now that might not sound like an interesting watch, especially with how violently the two subjects clash and how ham-fisted films can sometimes portray either side of the aisle, but this looks like it’s got its mind on how to tell the story with that debate through a unique lens into the inner workings.
I Origins will be distributed by independent powerhouse Fox Searchlight, and it is scheduled for a limited release on July 18th. In order to further prepare yourself for what to expect from this film, feel free to check out the trailer to the previous Cahill/Marling project, Another Earth.