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Another Earth: A Movie of Wonder

Note: This is a long a post, so feel free to watch the video clips I’ve included or the trailer as you go along.

Last weekend I finally saw a movie that I’ve been itching to see for weeks. That movie was Another Earth. I’ll give the premise first to give you a chance to gtfo if you don’t want to be spoiled. So imagine that you are living your life normally, this same Earth, your life right now. Then out the blue (and into the black), another planet Earth is discovered in space, within a humanly reachable distance. This Earth 2, is a carbon copy (as we know it) of your life here on Earth 1, you are replicated there, your person, your body. While of course, implications arise: is this is other me actually ME, do we lead the same life, what would happen if I could go talk to myself?

Rhoda (Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the film) was a 17-year old girl, driving home from a party when she found out about Earth 2. She is so captivated by this blue dot in the sky, and distracted by alcohol, she crashes in a family’s car and tragedy strikes. After serving four years in prison, Rhoda is released back into a society that is still coming to terms with Earth 2 as there has been no contact. She requests a job from the job agency where she can do something with her hands even though her advisor protests that she could do so much with her mind. But for Rhoda, her mind is what got her into her situation. Her mind got her to MIT and lead to eminent celebrations, ultimately resulting in the accident. And perhaps, working with her hands, cleaning and cleansing could keep her mind off of what she had done. But one day She sets out to tell the surviving husband and father of the crash, John that she was the one responsible. Just as she’s about to tell him, she falters. Instead she becomes his friend, cleaning his house and being his caregiver in his still broken state. At first, there is much of nothing between them. Hardly any dialogue is exchanged, as John projects an intimidating, rough exterior, and Rhoda does not do much more than look meek and shameful. As the movie progresses however, we begin to see these characters form. Predictably, they fall in love, and then Rhoda finds out that she’s won a ticket to Earth 2 in an essay contest. She won’t let herself go without telling John the truth. As he is obviously angered, their relationship abruptly ends. Read the rest of this entry


The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is one of those movies that makes all the sense in the world (literally) while you’re watching it, and much less sense when you try and contemplate it’s meaning afterwards. That in mind, I will try to write about it intelligently as I can. First off, if you are the kind of person you really likes a movie with a good, strong plot, you won’t find one in Tree of Life. You’re probably better off going to see Bad Teacher, or heck, maybe even Transformers 3. But I don’t blame it for having a weak plot because the movie itself examines the birth of life in our universe (aka as we know it), and the tragic the loss of it, and the big questions most of us will ask at some point in our lives: is there a God, if so, where is he and why does he punish the seemingly good (me), why I am here on this Earth, where do we go after we leave it, and what does it mean to be truly alive. All of this is played to the backdrop of a 1950s Texas family who is struck by the tragedy of a death in the family. Let’s see some else address those questions in a little over 2 hours as beautifully as Terrence Malick and his cinematographer, Emanuel Lubezki did. Each shot was the most beautiful photograph I could imagine. I enjoyed the film thoroughly until I got tired, when my buzz faded. But even on the come down, my mouth dropped at scenes like the one involving dinosaurs, a predator and a prey (I was like, did that really just happen?). For some of it I felt like I was watching Plant Earth through a more artistic lens. The abstract scenes of the cosmos are breathtaking and they consumed me as I became a part of them.
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