- Film Festival
Renaissance woman alert! Multi-hyphenate Brit Marling and writer/director Mike Cahill stopped by the Franklin Institute last Thursday evening to screen their incredible new film, Another Earth, and take questions from a diverse audience of PFS film-lovers, university physicists, and self-professed astronomy nerds.
Clad in a bright pink summer dress, writer-producer-actress Brit Marling enthusiastically detailed her creative process for inhabiting the interior life of Rhoda Williams, the intelligent and tortured leading character of Another Earth. Being an actress affords her the opportunity to experience multiple lives via the intense preparation for her characters, Marling detailed, yet she also admitted that it can be difficult to shake the weighty emotional aftereffects of such constructions.
Another Earth explores the human condition through the lenses of regret, forgiveness, and opportunity. When MIT-bound Rhoda Williams kills the family of composer John Burroughs (played with gruff and complex sensitivity by William Mapother) in a horrific auto accident, her life is inextricably bound to his.
With the discovery of Earth 2, a planet identical to ours that potentially contains exact copies of all our Earth's inhabitants, the central contemplation becomes: what would you say to your Other You, if you met You? Did your Other You make the same mistakes? Is his/her life exactly the same, or did it diverge from your's due to one small change, the turn of a head in one instant, one tiny difference in one single decision?
At the post-screening discussion moderated by the Franklin Institute's Chief Astronomer, Derrick H. Pitts, questions ranged from Cahill's use of handheld cameras to the existential implications of NASA's final space shuttle flight. Cahill explained his decision to leave the film's ending intentionally enigmatic, and thoughtfully discussed the importance of artistically combining science with human emotion.
"The best science fiction tells stories about people in extraordinary environments or situations that serve to open up the vast, still largely unexplored terrain of the human heart," writes Sundance reviewer Kirk Honeycutt. "Mike Cahill's Another Earth is science fiction at its best."
Another Earth opens nationwide next Wednesday, July 20. View the trailer here.
Check out more photos from the screening here!