Tag Archives: Brit Marling

Limité Must-See: Another Earth (2011)

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

by Daniel Quitério

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight. © 2011. All rights reserved.
This is the one movie from the past three years that I’m still tweeting about. It’s rare these days that a film comes along and etches its mark in your mind quite the way Another Earth did to me. Stitched together using bubble gum and string (and green fabric and googly eyes—really), this super low-budget indie darling launched the careers of star and co-writer Brit Marling (Arbitrage, 2012) and writer/director Mike Cahill (I Origins, 2014). Believing that it would be near impossible for two unknowns to attract funding in order to make their film, Cahill and Marling took matters into their own hands. The two Georgetown alumni shot the film in Southern Connecticut with a tiny crew, ultimately earning it a place in Sundance’s 2011 official selection, where it won a Special Jury Prize and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, which is awarded to a film that focuses on science or technology as a theme. It was distributed later that year by Fox Searchlight.

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2012 Faces to Watch

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

April 2, 2012

Committed to its mission to seek and promote tomorrow’s trending topics, Limité Magazine is thrilled to announce its fourth-annual “Faces to Watch” list. The feature focuses on select up-and-coming personalities in various facets of culture and lifestyle. After much consideration, 10 names were chosen for this year’s list. They were selected based on their potential to make a significant impact on their disciplines—in short, these are the names we’ll be talking about tomorrow.

Demián Bichir

by Morgan Goldin

When the 2012 Academy Award nominees for Best Actor were being announced, one nomination came as a surprise to audiences and industry insiders alike. Alongside uber-famous Hollywood actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt, there was Jean Dujardin (who eventually won the category), unknown to most Americans but recognized for his work in the popular The Artist, and Demián Bichir, for his role in A Better Life. Bichir’s sensitive and soulful portrayal of an undocumented migrant worker was powerful enough to make the Academy take notice, despite the indie feature going largely unseen by moviegoers. However, to Hispanic audiences, this was an actor finally getting his due.

Bichir was born in Mexico City on August 1, 1963. He started his acting career in telenovelas, with productions filmed in Mexico, the United States, and Spain. He took a break from his television acting to focus on a movie career. His movie Sexo, pudor y lagrimas (1999) was a massive box office smash, breaking all kinds of records to win the accolade of being the number one film in all of Mexican cinema. His role earned him an Ariel, a Mexican version of the Academy Award. The film In the Time of Butterflies (2001) was Bichir’s American debut, in which he co-starred with Salma Hayek. He garnered other roles in American film and television productions, playing a major role as Esteban Reyes on the hit Showtime show Weeds, as well as portraying Fidel Castro for Steven Soderbergh’s Che (2008). However, with his role as Carlos Galindo in A Better Life, Bichir, only the second Mexican actor to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar (after Anthony Quinn), will hopefully be a name that more American audiences recognize. And here’s a fun fact: he was the singing voice of Aladdin in the Spanish dub version of the 1992 Disney classic.

Bichir can next be seen in Oliver Stone’s 2012 release Savages, which also stars John Travolta, Blake Lively, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, and his Butterflies co-star Salma Hayek.

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Coming Soon: Sound of My Voice

The thing about the indie film world is that it does not shy away from material that pushes the boundaries. It likes to challenge viewers and get them to think about things of which they normally wouldn’t. It seems that the latest in these “trending topics” is cult life. Last year, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene introduced us to a disturbing cult world, perhaps not unlike the one we’ll be exploring next in Fox Searchlight’s newest release, Sound of My Voice. The film, which is directed by Zal Batmanglij (yes, the first six letters of his last name spell “Batman”!), is co-written by the director, himself, and one of indie film’s newest darlings, Brit Marling. In fact, the tri-hyphenate Marling also stars in the film and produced it. (Her last effort as writer-producer-star was last year’s independent triumph Another Earth, which shared a stage at Sundance 2011 with Sound of My Voice.)

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Hit & Miss: Another Earth, The Devil’s Double

I’m usually a pretty good judge of movies before even watching them. I can often tell whether I think a movie is going to be good or bad based on the trailer, logline, filmmaker, cast, or any other factor. Of course, this is not unique to me. Many of us have this super power. But every now and then, my senses go awry and I find myself in disbelief. Here are a couple of recent examples:

Hit

ANOTHER EARTH

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8hEwMMDtFY]

Going In: I’m not much for sci-fi, and after having seen the trailer, I just had a feeling—this is not going to be a good movie. And that’s a shame, because Fox Searchlight is my favorite distributor—but hey, even Fox Searchlight is entitled to a not-so-great movie once in a while. (Has anyone seen The Tree of Life?) Another Earth looked sleepy, boring, quiet, and any other number of synonyms that describe bland.

Stepping Out: BEST. MOVIE. OF. THE. YEAR. (so far) I can’t believe how wrong I was with this one. Brit Marling. Remember that name. She wrote, produced, and stars in this micro-budget indie that was directed by Mike Cahill. Nearly everything about this film is perfect. The dynamic performances. The breathtaking cinematography. The mesmerizing music. And most especially, the complex characters in a simple, original story. It just goes to show you, a film’s budget is no barometer for how good a movie is. The writing is (among other things). You can go into space with a tight script. And this film is proof.

Miss

THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auE1FAGP1Kc]

Going In: The true story of the man who was forced to act as Uday Hussein’s double. (That’s Saddam’s son, folks.) I was easily intrigued, quite simply because I hadn’t seen anything like this before. And speaking of something I haven’t seen before, (based on the trailer) it looked like Dominic Cooper was turning in a performance unlike any other he’s done. I’m sold.

Stepping Out: WTF! Sure, there is gory violence, but this film isn’t nearly as gritty as I thought it would be. Sure, Cooper’s performance is solid, but that’s pretty much all this Lee Tamahori-helmed film has going for it. It’s glitzy, golden visuals are clearly implied in the trailer and poster, but I was mostly going into this film with the overall concept in mind. Clearly, I wasn’t paying close enough attention. This film resembled more of a flashy music video than any film worth my time. (I was actually expecting something on par with The Hurt Locker, in style and substance.) Mind you, I didn’t hate it—and “not hating it” is the best compliment I can offer.