The Genius of Brit Marling

As The OA Season 2 premiere is getting nearer, we’ve got you some movie recommendations from one of the creators, and star, of this crazy and amazing show: Brit Marling.
A fact that’s fascinating about her is the commitment to her art. She and Zal Batmanglij, created, write, produce and take care of the post-production aspects of the Netflix series. Marling also portrays the main character in the series. This is nothing unusual for her. She and Batmanglij co-wrote and co-produced two movies before creating The OA; The East and Sound of My Voice, movies in which she also starred. Around the same time, Marling co-wrote and co-produced Another Earth with Mike Cahill, where she played the main role as well.
These last two movies are quite a unique take on the sci-fi genre, something we think Marling excels at: giving us characters that are surrounded by these extraordinary events and how they partake in them.
We have some thoughts we would like to share with you, so Cecilia is going to talk about The East and Luis Diego about Another Earth. After that, we’re both gonna give you our thoughts on Sound of My Voice.
Without further ado let’s discuss each film:

theeastThe East
This movie differs from our other two recommendations, as it doesn’t fall into the science fiction category. It had a bigger budget and well-known actors such as Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen Page. Marling and Batmanglij co-wrote this movie inspired in the time they spent with freegans (people who avoid buying anything and participating in the traditional economy, looking to minimize the consumption of resources and waste).

The story follows undercover agent Sarah (Brit Marling), who infiltrates an eco-terrorist group, The East, that’s targeting CEO of big corporations. The experiences she starts sharing with the group and their way of thinking start influencing her, make her loyalties waver and change her views on society.
This is the most grounded, so to speak, of our three recommendations. It’s a thriller, with an espionage theme that works great to entertain. But most importantly, this film is definitely a think piece. It brings out subjects that perhaps every member of society starts thinking about at some point in their lives, things such as how corporations are polluting the environment. One begins questioning our consumerist society and how many resources are wasted with our way of living.
Overall, The East is an entertaining and thought-provoking film, one in which Marling and Batmanglij prove they have many and diverse stories to tell.

another earthAnother Earth
I have to be honest with you from the get-go, guys, this one is my favorite. Another Earth follows Rhoda (Brit Marling) and the repercussions of two major things happening in her life. The first one being the sudden appearance of another earth (yes, I know). The other one is that she killed a woman, her kid and left her husband (William Mapother) in a coma.
This one was Marling’s second go at writing and producing, and it’s noticeable. The ideas are more concise and complete than her first movie (if you keep reading, you’ll see why).
The movie deals with depression and the idea of wondering what actions do you do out of guilt and which ones looking for forgiveness.
Nevertheless, this movie isn’t perfect. Although the aesthetic of the movie is beautiful, it is shot in a way that some people (including me) will find it a bit awkward. It’s like they were filming a documentary about some messed up things.
One can also point out that the same aesthetic borrows heavily from Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. But this movie came out later than Another Earth, so what do I know, right?
A movie that deals with what are you willing to do for forgiveness, from others and from yourself, and how far are you willing to go to run away from your mistakes.
A must watch.

soundofmyvoiceSound of My Voice
The movie is about a couple, Peter and Lorna, who are infiltrating a cult led by Maggie (Brit Marling) who claims she is from 2054.
It’s both written and starred by the focus of this article, Brit Marling, but we should say that it’s her first credit as a writer.
The pace of the movie is weird. Zal and Marling let you get to your own conclusions as they present you with more and more information, they’ve spoken previously about their conscious decision of presenting the audience with enough evidence so they can get the answers themselves. That’s something that some viewers may enjoy, Cecilia, herself still thinks about the movie today (5 years after watching it) trying to understand it. Nevertheless, they introduce a storyline in the third act that seems to be pulled off left field. Both Peter and Lorna’s arcs feel inconclusive and lacking a focus.
By now, you may be wondering, why are they recommending a movie that seems to have a lot of problems?
Brit. Marling.
As it was mentioned, it’s one of her firsts writing efforts for a reason, because her ideas, although (in Luis Diego’s opinion) incomplete, feel sincere. He truly believes that the character of Maggie, in spite of the fact of being surrounded by mystery, is the best written of this movie. Charismatic and, in times, menacing, is perfectly played by this fabulous actress.
The movie carries a lot of similitudes with The OA; a mysterious figure shares tales of the impossible with a group of impressionable minds and an unreliable narrator in the story.

As it was previously mentioned, this is one of Marling and Batmanglij’s first works. Many aspects that, pretty much, characterize them as writers are found in this film. By comparing it with The OA, one can see how much they’ve evolved and matured as story-tellers. The Netflix series has given them resources they didn’t have in this movie and allowed them to take these same elements and make something more developed and deeper.
Go watch this movie, if it isn’t for the mystery of the character or wondering what you would do on this situation, do it for a fresh take of the time travel genre. This story is quite unique and a must-watch if you’re a fan of The OA or love independent sci-fi films.

Brit Marling is an amazing artist who writes stories that resonate with viewers and brings to life interesting and unique characters.

Written by:  Luis Diego Navas & Cecilia López Closs

For more reviews, follow us on Twitter @luisdnavas and @MCLCloss and don’t forget to follow @TheCinemaSpot as well.