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Interstellar And Captain America Top The Saturn Award Nominations

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interstellarSci-fi may not fare well at the Oscars, outside of a few technical awards now and again, but at this point, do any of us really put much stock in what the Academy thinks? Almost none of my favorite films from 2014 were nominated for much of anything in any of the usual glut of self-congratulatory awards shows, but one that is always more in line with our general aesthetic are the Saturn Awards, and now the nominees for this year have been released.

As the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy, and Horror Films chooses the nominees and winners, you can imagine they’re a wee bit different than the more mainstream celebrations, and the list for the 41st Annual Saturn Awards is no different. You’ve got big blockbuster comic book movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier right up there along with independent horror, like The Babadook and The Guest. We’re talking about awards that honor movies like Lucy and Snowpiercer and Paddington, you know it’s a different sort of animal.

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Movie Review: I Origins Is An Esoteric Take On Science And Spirituality

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I OriginsIt’s been a big summer for science fiction movies, both in the sense of the number of options, as well as sheer size and spectacle. We’ve had giant robots (Transformers: Age of Extinction), giant prehistoric monsters (Godzilla), and giant movie stars like Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow). And this isn’t even taking into account a swarm of super smart monkeys (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) that recently arrived, or the gang of adolescent turtles (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and the talking raccoon in deep space (Guardians of the Galaxy) that are yet to arrive.

If you’re looking for something a little more on the low-key side of things, something with way more ideas than explosions and animated creatures, you definitely need to check out Mike Cahill’s indie sci-fi feature I Origins. Building up to the movie, I had concerns. I’m not a fan of Cahill’s last esoteric take on the genre, Another Earth, and all of the trailers make this look like one of those stories where science and fact are brushed aside by airy, unfounded assertions and annoying hippie, but-how-can-you-really-know spiritual nonsense. While this is definitely a science versus faith movie, Cahill who both wrote and directed, strikes a solid, sensible balance between the two sides, letting you reach your own conclusions. The result is worth your time, and likely to inspire spirited, intelligent conversations long after you leave the theater.

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I Origins Is Actually A Prequel To An Earlier Screenplay

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OriginsIf you’re looking for an escape from the massive scale summer sci-fi blockbusters like Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, you should definitely check out Mick Cahill’s I Origins. Fox Searchlight released the film this weekend in a limited number of theaters, though it will expand next week (we’ll have a review up eventually, but we’re still embargoed). While it is, on the surface, it’s own original property, as it turns out, I Origins is actually a prequel to a script that Cahill sold to the studio a few years back. After you read the full story, you’ll understand the title a little bit more, even though it still isn’t fantastic.

I Origins is a character driven story of science versus faith. While I was initially afraid it was going to be one of those tales that some esoteric unknowable spiritual mumbo jumbo would trump any actual science (someone who saw the trailer told me it looks like a science fiction movie for people who don’t like science), the film actually strikes a solid balance.

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Sci-Fi Stash: Four Things To Spend Your Hard-Earned Cash On This Week

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OriginsI Origins
If you’ve seen the trailers for I Origins in theaters you may have been left scratching your head. There’s a whole lot of talk about eyeballs and science and maybe reincarnation, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on. The official synopsis only makes it slightly clearer, explaining that, “I Origins follows a molecular biologist whose study of the human eye points to evidence with far reaching implications about our scientific and spiritual beliefs.” Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt stars as Ian Gray, the aforementioned biologist, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Sofi, a free spirit he falls in love with, only to lose…a tragedy that spurs his research in unexpected directions.

I Origins was written and directed by Mike Cahill, best known for another surreal and cerebral indie science fiction flick, 2011’s Another Earth. His Another Earth actress and co-writer Brit Marling is also aboard I Origins, playing one of Ian’s fellow researchers. Aside from being saddled with an irritating title, I Origins isn’t faring too well with critics, currently sitting at 44% Fresh on RottenTomatoes. Still, I’m intrigued to see what Cahill does with the concept, and I’ll watch pretty much anything Marling is in. (Check out Sound of My Voice if you haven’t already.) I Origins opens in limited release this Friday, July 18.

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I Origins Photo Gallery Gazes Deeply Into The Mysterious Indie Feature

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I OriginsIf you’re tired of being pummeled by the giant robots, massive prehistoric lizards, and obligatory sequels of this summer’s blockbuster season, Mike Cahill’s new film I Origins might be just the palate cleanser you need. This is quiet, esoteric, independent science fiction that relies more on an interesting idea than large-scale special effects and an unlimited budget to get its point across. After premiering at Sundance back in January, where it walked away with the Alfred P. Sloane Feature Film Prize, the film will open July 18, and Fox Searchlight has released this new photo gallery provides you a closer look.

The film stars Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt as Ian Gray, a PhD student in molecular biology who specializes in the evolution of the human eye. Cold and analytical, his world is thrown into upheaval by an encounter with Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) an exotic, free-spirited young woman who he ultimately loses. His research continues with his partners Karen (Brit Marling) and Kenney (Steven Yeun, The Walking Dead), and they make a shocking discovery that has implications not only in their chosen field, but also in the wider realms of science and spirituality, and leads Ian on a globetrotting adventure.

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Three I Origins Clips Offer An Esoteric Glimpse Into The Indie Sci-Fi Feature

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Every year there are always a few strange, indie sci-fi features that premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. These often garner a fair amount of praise, offering unique approaches to the genre, but are somewhat divisive. Robot and Frank and Safety Not Guaranteed have filled this role in past years, and 2014 saw unusual movies like The Signal. Another that is set to get a theatrical run later this month is Mike Cahill’s I Origins, and we have three new clips for you to consider before the July 18 release.

The film follows Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist who specializes on the evolutionary origins of the eye. He’s a hard scientist, all about the facts and figures and what he can see. When he falls in love with, and loses, a mysterious, spiritual woman, Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), everything he thinks he knows is called into question, and his studies have big implications for both science and religion.