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What Happens If You're an Eye Donor? : I ORIGINS

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I am just fascinated by science and technology. The Stories that I'm interested in telling are very much inspired by science and scientists and then finding the emotional, profound thing that one stumbles upon in life and how that connects to a specific scientific paradigm - Mike Cahill (writer/director of Another Earth & I Origins).

More and more the lines between science and matters of spirit are blurred. Scientists study faith and its affect on healing, doctors prescribe yoga and meditation; in actuality, these two studies have always informed each other, after all, Galileo and Da Vinci were both artists and scientists.  Mike Cahill obviously is of the school of thought that science and spirituality go hand in hand, but in the movie I Origins, molecular biologist Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is a throwback, purist scientist with little regard for that which can't be proven.  In fact, his main reason for studying the eye, is to disprove the existence of God, as many believe the complex miracle which is the human eye, denotes a divine architect. Ian's theory, which soon involves new lab assistant, Karen (Brit Marling) maintains, if you take a entity without eyes and biologically have this species develop eyes, then it's all about science and not divinity.

Now, that inexplicable thing called love, Ian does believe in, particularly when he meets a mysterious eyed stranger at a party, Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who does a Cinderella disappearance act, after coitus interruptus in a bathroom stall; he fears he'll never find the oh so lovely, Sofi again, until a series of signs brings him into the quixotic beauty's presence once more.

Despite the couples vastly different views on life and the Universe, all seems wonderfully sexy and romantic between them until tragedy strikes. Sadly, later, you find out Ian felt Sophie was such a child in her thinking and the way she approached life, that he was worried about being stuck with her for the rest of his.  This part really resonated with me. I suppose because I'm always looking for a father figure type to handle the "real world" stuff and if this person and I ever find each other, I think it would be devastating to learn he felt I was a burden.

But I digress, the real meat of the movie is about reincarnation, although the word is never uttered. I LOVE speculating about reincarnation.  I have no doubt in my mind that it's true, I believe most, if not all of us have been here before. But I like thinking about who I may have been in a former life, was I always a woman?  I know for certain this is my first life being black.

'The virtues we acquire, which develop slowly within us, are the invisible links that bind each one of our existences to the others — existences which the spirit alone remembers, for Matter has no memory for spiritual things.'-Honoré de Balzac (1790 – 1850) French novelist and playwright.

The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same.  So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead,  then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?

My question, what if you donate your eyes to science? Do you get a new pair on your next visit to earth? On my drivers license, I'm down as an organ donor, but I sure as shootin' don't wanna come back here without eyes!


The empiricist can only know what's there in front of them and on that basis alone, we can deduce that I Origins is a bold, immensely watchable philosophical journey. Rich with thematic nuance and stuffed with just the kind of questions that will keep you up at night pondering, I Origins is a brave addition to a growing collection of heady sci-fact pictures from Mike Cahill. He's certainly set an intriguing course, one that I'll look forward to tracking, but for now, we just have to hope he's not scooped up to direct the reboot of the rebooted Spiderman...READ MORE Matt Oakes Silver Screen Riot


Our screening of I Origins at Ritz 5 included a post screening Q&A with the lead and writer/director in attendance.  I captured a good portion of the discussion (see video below):

Half way thru this Q & A you'll see a hand drawing Mike Cahill in charcoal, the artist is my friend Diane Roka whose been featured on Tinsel & Tine numerous times as we tend to attend these Philly events together.  Here's the finished product of the drawing.

See and @dianeroka on Instagram for more of her work

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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