One night on cable, I happened upon her 2011 movie “Another Earth,” which she co-wrote and starred in. Here’s a blurb from the Fox Searchlight site:
“In ANOTHER EARTH, Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs (William Mapother), has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child.”On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined.”
It sounds kinda science-fictiony, but it feels like a quiet, elegant, emotional indie movie. She is one of those people who I find oddly mesmerizing. Like, feed me the Kool-Aid cuz I will drink it! The sci-fi-ish angle gives the movie a sense of fantasy or magical-realism to me. When the movie ended, I was like, “MORE? NOW WHAT? I NEED MORE!” There may be elements that remind you of Lars von Triers’ “Melancholia,” but I found “Another Earth” much more hopeful and sweet, although also with its own sadness.
When I looked her up on IMDB, I loved her even more. She is an Econ major from Georgetown U., but turned down a job at Goldman Sachs to become an artist. Here’s her quote from IMDB about why she started to write movies:
“[on why she decided to become a screenwriter in relation to her being an actress] How terrifying to surrender your life to being chosen all the time. Having to be chosen and re-chosen. Writing so that I can act became a way of having not more control over my future but not having to wait for permission. You can choose yourself. Hmm, who should play this part? I nominate me!”
“I think I’ll never stop writing now because I’m wondering why there aren’t more representatives of women that are like the women we know. Where’s the film with the women who are complicated and strong and beautiful and sexy and interesting and of all body types? You don’t get to see enough of them. So there’s something important in attempting to write them for myself and for the insanely talented women out there.”
The fact that I just found her mesmerizing led me to watch another film from 2011 that she co-wrote and starred in, “The Sound of My Voice.” In this film, she actually portrays a cult leader, and it’s about two film-makers who try to infiltrate and find the truth about her and her strange claims. Much like “Another Earth,” I loved the ending of the movie, and it leaves you with another odd sense of hope and wonder.
She has been in other movies I haven’t seen yet, but her new one, “The East,” is coming out this year and also stars Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard (I didn’t know him, but I guess he’s in True Blood), and Patricia Clarkson. One of the producers appears to be Ridley Scott. The movie is described as an espionage thriller, but I’m hoping it will still have that strange-but-alluring Brit Marling magic.
From Wiki: “Sarah Moss is a former FBI agent and an operative for the private intelligence firm Hiller Brood. She infiltrates an anarchist collective called The East and convinces its members of her genuine participation. Moss begins to fall in love with its charismatic leader Benji, and she begins to question the moral underpinnings of her undercover duty.” Apparently she and the director/co-writer spent a summer being freegans and learning about living off the grid, with no money, and used those experiences to write this movie.
I am just really into young women who find a way to create their own opportunities and make such a splash. The two movies I watched felt like little film gems to me. If you get the chance to watch one, I hope you like it! I would start with “Another Earth.”
Here’s some eye candy for you from Glamour.com.