Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Michael Pitt and Mike Cahill on Science vs. Faith in Sci-Fi Flick "I Origins"

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Michael Pitt and Mike Cahill on Science vs. Faith in Sci-Fi Flick "I Origins"

Article excerpt

Michael Pitt on science, faith in 'I Origins'


TORONTO - When Michael Pitt first heard the elaborate science-fiction tale that would become "I Origins," he was so captivated he believed it was a true story.

Pitt had requested a meeting with Mike Cahill, the young director who wowed Sundance audiences with his moody debut feature "Another Earth." As Cahill discussed his concept for "I Origins," which raises questions about the afterlife through a fictional scientific discovery about the human eye, Pitt was convinced.

"It was just such an interesting concept," Pitt said. "After he finished, I wasn't surprised. I was like, 'Where can I read about this?' Because I thought it was true. He was like, 'No, I just made it up.'"

During a recent interview in Toronto, Cahill and Pitt laughed as they recalled their first meeting. But Pitt, best known for his role as Jimmy Darmody on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," remembered telling Cahill that viewers would be equally spellbound by his fascinating idea.

"If you can make a film where you're doing that to the audience, I would just die to see that," he told the director.

The comment "set a wildfire" in Cahill's mind, he said, and he wrote a rough draft of the script in a few weeks. "I Origins" won the Alfred P. Sloane prize at Sundance earlier this year and opens Friday in Toronto and Vancouver before being released in other Canadian cities.

Pitt plays PhD student Ian Gray, who falls in love with an enigmatic beauty named Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) after photographing her unusual and striking eyes. When their relationship is suddenly cut short, Gray delves deeper into his studies on the molecular biology of the eye with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling).

The pair stumble upon startling evidence that leads Ian to question his once-certain scientific views. As he embarks on a journey to India to confront his past with Sofi and her unique irises, he is forced to confront the possibility that there is more to life than science can explain. …

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