I’ve been busy with the final proofing and formatting of YSG #2 (Summer’s Cauldron) and the re-edit of The Celestial Blade, as well as working on Wizard of Time Book 2, so I haven’t had much time for blogging. I also haven’t felt inspired to blog about anything. However, I thought this might be interesting to share.
My wife and I watched Another Earth a few nights ago and while I really enjoyed the film it was an odd experience. Odd, because the house used in the film is the same house I shot my film Dark September Rain in back in the fall of 2003.
In Another Earth, a duplicate planet earth appears in orbit around the sun. The night of its appearance, Rhoda, a astronomy student is driving while looking up into the night sky. She run into a car and kill the wife and child of composer, John. Because he ends up in a coma and she’s underage, he never finds out who she is. Four years later, after she gets out of prison, she goes to apologize, loses her nerve and ends up cleaning his house. A subplot revolves around Rhoda entering a contest to be on a rocket to the second earth.
I found it to be a really interesting film. It doesn’t explore enough the idea of this duplicate earth, where there are apparently duplicates of all of us, but it held my attention in a very unique way. Brit Marling, who also wrote the screenplay, was wonderful and there was always a pleasant tension of what was going to happen next, even though the film has what an old friend used to call “a mannered pace.”
What made watching the film an even more interesting experience is that about a third of the way through the film, when Rhoda goes to John house to apologize, I realized it was that same house that I had shot Dark September Rain at. From then on the scenes with the house were like viewing a palimpsest film . The scenes of Another Earth were layered on top of the scenes from Dark September Rain and my memories of shooting the film there for ten days. Directing, shooting, and acting in the film was the most intensely creative experience of my life. We accomplished an enormous amount in those ten days. A journal of the experience is on the films’s website. And a synopsis of the film is below.
Gabriel and five friends are stranded on his family farm on a day of national tragedy that forces them to confront their ideals and fears. Meanwhile the ghosts of Gabriel’s great grandparents recollect the horrors of the 20th Century, from World War One and the Great Depression to World War Two and the deaths of their children. Throughout all of this, two supernatural beings reflect on the events of the day while reading from a sacred black book. As night falls, it becomes clear that the tragedy affecting the nation has reached the farm, leaving Gabriel’s life hanging in the balance.
Reminiscent of films such as Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour, and influenced by the writings of philosopher Ken Wilber, Eastern mysticism, and Western spirituality, Dark September Rain is a provocative and inspiring exploration of what it means to live in a post-September 11th world.
In the Another Earth trailer above you can see the house (the Lazy Days Farm) right at the beginning and again at 1:33 min. The trailer below for Dark September Rain features the house as the only location.