by Phil Mann
Brit Marling is a force to be reckoned with. Brainy, blonde and beautiful, this 29-year-old aspiring actress decided that she’d rather write her own roles than depend on auditions. Her first two scripts were made into movies – starring her, and were selected for the Sundance Film Festival and picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures, the most prestigious indie distributor around. Two films in one year. The odds of having even one film see that success are a couple of thousand to one.
The first movie, Another Earth, a sci-fi story about a mirror planet where everything down to the individual inhabitants is exactly the same as Earth, showed at the Tropic last year. Now we have the SOUND OF MY VOICE. Marling plays Maggie, a cult leader who claims to be (or maybe is) from the year 2054. She has a group of followers under her spell, and even draws in an investigative reporter who thinks he’s going to expose her. She is brilliant at it, a mesmerizing figure, showing powers in the movie that she seems to have exerted over Sundance and Fox Searchlight in real life.
“A contemplative sci-fi thriller. The unfolding story is consistently disturbing, probing the human desire to believe…” (Claudia Puig, USA Today) “There's no arguing, though—and who would want to?—Ms. Marling's extraordinary gift for taking the camera and weaving a spell.” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall St. Journal)
If this interests you, Fox Searchlight has taken the unusual step of putting the first twelve minutes of the movie online. Just log onto soundofmyvoicemovie.com to see it.
THE DEEP BLUE SEA is another female actor’s tour de force. Here it’s Rachel Weisz as a woman caught up in a life-enabling/life-destroying love affair. The movie, based on a Terrence Ratigan play, is set in the 1950’s. Hestor Collyer has a good, very proper marriage to an older man, a judge (Simon Russell Beale), until she meets a young former WWII fighter pilot (Tom Hiddleston). She knows what she should do, what everyone tells her she should do (in 1950), but….
The lust-lorn woman bitten has been a theme over the past year. We had Tilda Swinton in I Am Love, leaving her rich and powerful husband for a boy chef. We had Kristin Scott-Thomas in Leaving, quitting her powerful architect husband for a grimy ex-con. But, with its roots in the work of a master dramatist, The Deep Blue Sea may well be the finest take on the theme yet.
“It's riveting from beginning to end, because virtually at every moment, someone's entire life is in the balance…” (Mick La Salle, San Francisco Chronicle) “It is about the fate of untameable, irrational desire in a world that does not seem to have a place for it.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
This week’s respite from such serious matters is the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp vampire spoof DARK SHADOWS. Johnny is a vampire from the 18th Century, plunked down in Maine in 1972. He doesn’t understand cars or TV, but he sure can wreak havoc, and show us a good time. “It's a great time at the movies and a wickedly clever cinematic treat.” (Box Office Magazine)
BERNIE and THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL held over.
On Friday night, the film program of Gay Pride Fest closes with THE ADONIS FACTOR and FAGBUG, and an interview (via Skype) with San Francisco filmmaker David Weissman, director of The Cockettes.
This Saturday morning (at 10:30) marks the debut of the new KIDS SATURDAY MOVIE CLUB. Great movies with tickets only $1, for all kids and their accompanying adults. The debut film is NANNY MCPHEE, with Emma Thompson as the magical nanny who tames Colin Firth’s horde of rapscallions. And for icing on the cake, there’ll be a drawing for a free bike. Now, that’s a deal.
Full schedules and info at TropicCinema.com or TCKW.info