Sunday, 6 November 2011

Another Earth, dir. Mike Cahill, wr. Mike Cahill, Brit Marling, st. William Mapother, Brit Marling

Like Lars Von Trier's Melancholia and David Mackenzie's Perfect Sense before it, Another Earth similarly uses high-concept sci-fi as a peg on which to hang slow-burning human interests. As genre-blending films go it's another belter too. Rhoda's terrible accident and subsequent atonement coincide with the appearance of an identical Earth in our night sky, identical right down to the people that inhabit it. The film posits the idea that whilst the planet is duplicated at a scientific level, maybe human decision and indecision has been allowed to off-shoot down another path. Shot in the over-exposed winterday-blues of digital video and with an unsettling score/sound-design by Fall On Your Sword and Ryan Price, the film does more stylistically with it's $200,000 micro-budget than movies with an extra three 0s at the end of their allocated spend. Brit Marling rightfully earns her new Indie-darling Du Jour status, not because of the faultlessness of her writing and performance, but because she wields a roughly hewn honesty that surely promises even greater things in years to come. Seen as a paean to human fallibility, Another Earth softly needles us into contemplating our own choices. It's a little lean around the edges, yet there's beauty and provocation within the spartan narrative, never anything less than wholly absorbing and sensitively told.